Chichu Art Museum was established in 2004 as a site to rethink the relationship between nature and people.
The museum, managed by Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation, is located on the south side of Naoshima, an island of the Inland Sea of Japan. The artworks of Claude Monet, Walter De Maria and James Turrell are installed permanently within the building that Tadao Ando designed.
In order to ensure viewing of the exhibits in the optimum environment, groups of 10 persons or more will be given a private tour (fee charged).
The subterranean museum is under the administration of the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation, a project of the Benesse Corporation whose president Soichiro Fukutake also acts as director of the facility. It exists as part of an ongoing initiative to “rethink the relationship between nature and people,” and is one of several arts-related sites generating tourist interest in the area.
Despite its position buried underground, the design of the building is such that it facilitates the exclusive use of natural light to illuminate a number of the exhibits, changing their appearance at different viewing times throughout the day and, in essence, encompassing the building itself within the same realm as the art on display.
Located between the ticket center and main museum building, the Chichu Garden is an area roughly 400m² in size that features approximately 150 types of plants and 40 kinds of trees that either appeared in Monet’s works or were collected by the artist during his lifetime. As Monet was an avid gardener, his own designs as well as inspiration gleaned directly from some of his most famous paintings were used to design the garden and ponds that make up the area, which even feature some of the same water lilies that appear in his famous series.
The rationale behind Chichu Garden is one where, through physical experience, it is believed one’s understanding and appreciation of Claude Monet’s work can be deepened.
Walter De Maria
- “Time/Timeless/No Time,” 2004 – granite, mahogany, gold leaf, concrete
- “Afrum, Pale Blue,” 1968 – projector
- “Open Field,” 2000 – fluorescent light, neon tube
- “Open Sky,” 2004 – LED, xenon lamp
- “Water Lilies,” 1914-17 – oil on Canvas, 200×200cm
- “Water Lilies, Reflections of Weeping Willows,” 1916-19 – oil on canvas, 100×200cm
- “Water-Lily Pond,” 1917-19 – oil on canvas, 100×200cm
- “Water-Lily Pond,” c.1915-1926 – oil on canvas, diptych, each part: 200×300cm