Takamatsu – Traditional Japanese Style Home

After a long day on the island of Takamatsu I hopped on the boat towards Teshima where a Ryokan experience awaited for me. Unfortunately I had noone to wait on me, but I was able to stay in a renovated property selected by a Japanese architect living and working in Takamatsu. She had recently refurbished the property, hoping to balance her appreciation for Japanese tradition and that of modern design. I was very happy to converse with her in Japanese and understand some of her influences, one being Tadao Ando, kind of fitting since I just came from Naoshima.

Overall the space was a beautiful place to rest in and I peacefully slept. It was a nice experience to slide open the Shoji doors and look out at the small zen garden at the back. I only wish I would of had more time to enjoy it, the property was nice and I think the area would of been great to explore. But hey, I had places to be and needed to hop on the mid morning ferry to Teshima. My next island of exploration! Here are a few photos from inside this property.

5 February, 2018

Teshima – Teshima Art Museum

Hello all. Today I wanted to post some photos and a little information about my trip to Teshima, an island that resides next to Naoshima. The island itself is a little tricky to get to and I made a meal of the trip in general, first going to Takamatsu from Naoshima, staying in Takamatsu that evening and catching the boat in the morning back to Naoshima and on to Teshima. That same day I had to be back in Osaka, so it was a little bit rushed overall and would reccomend if you do go to spend more time walking or cycling around.

The main point of interest for me was the Teshima Art Museum, a project that’s the creative vision of artist Rei Naito and architect Ryue Nishizawa. This concrete structure sits on a rice field overlooking the Seto Inland Sea, as you enter the large bubble you can hear all the echoes from the wind and the water drops that scatter and skid across the surface. Not only is it a space for meditation, this build really plays with your senses as the different noises reverberate through the structure.

If I’m being honest I wasn’t able to take pictures inside but I wanted to highlight a few photos of the outer structure and give you an idea of the surroundings. This is the kind of place you need to go to see and experience for yourself, no photography or words can really translate the feelings that it conjures. Enjoy.

Find our more about the Teshima Art Museum here →

4 February, 2018

Naoshima – Lee Ufan Museum

After my visit to the Benesse Museum on Naoshima I decided to trundle over to the Lee Ufan Museum, one of the newer additions to the island. It’s distinct thanks to the wide open spaces in the courtyard that then guide you in to a narrow walkway, first going outward and then inward towards the museum entrance.

The museum itself highlights the work of Korean contemporary artist Lee Ufan, inside features stone installations and paintings from earlier on in his career. Designed by Tadao Ando, hence the use of concrete here, I was in awe of the clean cut surroundings and the cleanliness of the concrete. It was quite a unique experience and feels other worldly, a feeling that Tadao Ando’s architecture always gives off.

I really enjoyed walking around and capturing the shadows near the entrance and the open courtyard, thus I wanted to bring forward a few of the images today. More coming soon from my trips in Japan.

31 January, 2018

Naoshima – Tadao Ando’s Concrete Walls

My last post featured some imagery from around the island of Naoshima in Japan. I was especially drawn in by the beautiful concrete walls which are a trademark of famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

As soon as you enter the first room in the Benesse House Museum you are instantly struck by the starkness of the concrete. The stairs spiral down and you are able to walk down in to the centre of the room. It’s really quite special and is something I wanted to convey with my photography. Whether I was able to do it sufficiently is another thing, but I still felt that this imagery was strong and powerful, both in colour and black and white.

30 January, 2018

Naoshima – Benesse House Museum

The Benesse House on Naoshima opened in 1992 and looked to integrate both a museum and hotel in one. Now this building is just one of four, the others also accommodating guests, plus a restaurant, cafe and spa. Inside the house is a selection of art, some are site specific works, such as the photography by Hiroshi Sugimoto seen here, but others are temporary and rotate throughout the year.

Conceptually the building is built on the idea of “coexistence of nature, art and architecture”. As I’m a fan of Japanese architect Tadao Ando the focal point for me was to see what kind of conversation existed between the exterior elements and the interior elements. I was taken a back by the shadows scattered across the stark concrete, more of which I will show in a future series. Interestingly it didn’t feel cold or plain at all.

Unfortunately I was not allowed to take pictures in the main gallery, but I was able to capture a few of the outer sections of the building and the main lobby area. This island certainly inspired me and I hope the pictures inspire you too. Enjoy.

29 January, 2018