Darryl Chen, 14 10 08

Five hours from Tokyo and a half hour boat ride across the Setonaikai, one finds Naoshima. This island retreat once was a fishing village, but is now an art-themed Elysium inhabited by sculpture parks, two spectacular Ando museums, and a fishing village exquisitely retrofitted with site-specific artwork. Even the ferry terminal is a Sanaa bespoke.

The 19th century museum, say the Victoria and Albert, was a beacon of light and learning – a monument within the city. The 20th century museum, say the Getty, was the city within the city, a city unto itself. Naoshima in the 21st century neither constitutes the city nor substitutes the city like its forebears, but surpasses the city. Offering a pure and isolated experience, one wanders about the island in a post-touristic haze of cleansing sea air and navel-gazing indulgence. It is the near-perfect vehicle for retreating within oneself and into an uncongested… thoughtless… non-existence….


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