Exciting artistic adventures in Hokuriku, Japan

Tokyo dpa: The art scene in Japan is as exciting as it is diverse. Japan’s beauty is not just limited to urban landscapes, the country has also seen pioneering art projects launched in the heart of rural areas, giving visitors another reason to step outside the big cities and into the great outdoors.

There are four of our favorite art adventures in Hokuriku that we recommend trying: from architecturally elegant museums to installations designed for special places and even the kind of art you can sleep in.

Museum of Contemporary Art for the twenty-first century

In Kanazawa Prefecture, there is a museum as unique as its inspiring architecture and art treasures within. The Museum of Contemporary Art of the 21st Century is a circular, light-emitting structure designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architecture studio Sana. The museum won the Golden Lion at the 9th Venice International Biennale, the 2004 architecture show.

Located in the city center, the circular museum is designed as a park surrounded by greenery with an emphasis on brightness; Where the skylights were used to illuminate the courtyards of the space with natural light.

Although the space itself can be an artistic achievement, most visitors come back for the attractive exhibits, which are held within. The museum’s permanent collection includes landmarks such as “The Origin of the World” by Anish Kapoor, a work that challenges the viewer’s perception; What appears to be a sculpture at first glance reveals itself on further examination to be a hiatus.

The swimming pool, a work of art by Leonardo Ehrlich, is a bright piece that resembles a swimming pool. Visitors can stand under the water and look up or look at the people in the lower room.

Admired and loved by adults and children alike, the museum is in keeping with its goal of being a classroom open to children; Where they can preview, touch and experience art.

The museum organizes an exceptional calendar of temporary exhibitions, giving visitors a reason to keep coming back. Running until March 5, 2023, the show is a showcase of the arts of the 1950s and 1960s, entitled “The Immortal Imagination of Eve Klein: Uncertainty and Immateriality”. The exhibition runs until March 5, 2023 and highlights the work of French artist Yves Klein, who had a clear impact on the generations that followed.

Kintsugi, the Japanese tradition of repairing broken things with gold

There is a belief in Japan that imperfection can also be perfect. The tradition of “Kintsugi” or the restoration of broken objects with varnish and gold powder is a vivid example of this belief, and proof that even a broken object can be beautiful. This tradition is popular and has been practiced in Japan for over 500 years.

Back in the old days, which asked people to save and thrift, the ancient Japanese would repair the broken things of the past rather than replace them with new ones. This art has returned to find popularity among the general public again.

Visitors to Yamanaka Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture can participate in the Kintsugi workshop, organized with Deeper Japan, which aims to understand more about this distinctive tradition and technique used by two father and son lacquer artists who make their work making in their studio. The four-hour session includes an introduction to the traditions and techniques of the Kintsugi tradition, after which visitors can choose a ceramic piece to be coated with gold powder, and the final step of the process with the master and his son can complete. , the piece is ready to take home.

Triennial Ichigo Tsumari

The Ichigo Tsumari Art Triennial brings art lovers from all over Japan and around the world to the city of Tokamachi in Niigata Prefecture. But this kind of art is not new to this place. This region has been producing pottery and textiles for centuries, and a long tradition of handicrafts runs through the culture of this region. Like many rural areas in Japan, the population is declining and aging, but art is bringing energy back to this area.

The Ichigo Tsumari Triennale will run until November 13, 2022, and visitors can also view more than 200 permanent site-specific works year-round at the Ichigo Tsumari Art Arena, some of which are in urban settings, abandoned buildings and also in the deep countryside. These beautiful works of art are surrounded by rice paddies and forests. Although the name “Maidan” may suggest that it is a small area, the general site covers a large area of ​​760 square kilometers.

One of the most popular works of art to visit throughout the year is the beautiful Tunnel of Light, a reimagining of a 750 meter tunnel above Kyoto Street. The work was designed by MAD Architects. The rock-hewn tunnel overlooks a tree-rich valley and river. The entire length of the tunnel has been transformed into an art space with various installations, including colored lights, mirrors and a reflective room with a toilet. The grand finale of this remarkable work is the Light Cave; Where a layer of water and mirrors reflect light at the end of the tunnel and views of the valley. It’s an interactive work of art — walk in the water and you’ll be part of the art itself.

House of Light by James Turrell

James Turrell’s artwork, whose main elements are light and nature, is loved all over the world. But in Japan, you can actually sleep in one of these jobs! For example: The House of Light was designed as a space for contemplation, built in the traditional architectural style of the region, and has a retractable roof that opens to the sky, a feature of many of Toriel’s works.

This work is also part of the Art Field Shows, presented by Ichigo Tsumari as part of the first Art Triennale in 2000 and a work based on the book In Praise of the Shadows by the famous Japanese novelist Junichiro Tanizaki.

The interior space includes bedrooms and designs with a Japanese touch, such as shoji paper screens and tokonuma huts, which Torrell describes as his “Western approach to Japanese culture”. The house can be booked exclusively or shared with other visitors. For those who don’t want to stay overnight, the place is also open to visitors during the day. However, if you really want to experience a deep artistic experience, you should try to stay here even for one night.

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