The art of stillness in the Japanese wilderness

Definitely near the top of my list of things to see!

A lyrical meditation on the quiet place within.

The wait time at the Chichu Art Museum varies depending on the hour. According to the shuttle schedule, the white bus parks for as little as three minutes and as long as twenty-one before beeping, retracting its steps, closing its door, and driving back the way it came. But no matter the condition of the roads, the layover does not vary from the plan: Arrive 10:57, leave at 11:05; park at 16:52, close doors at 16:55; and so on. The bus, plain but for the words “Benesse House” printed cheerfully across the side, winds its way up along often rain-slicked esses, past tidy beaches, elegant forests, a pumpkin sculpture the size of a small hut.

The Art of Stillness in the Japanese Wilderness. Photo: Iwan Baan

There are three islands in Japan’s Inland Sea where some of the world’s best contemporary art lives quietly nestled between trees. Naoshima, with a collection of three…

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