Naoshima and Beyond: Japan’s Art Island with Simon Richmond - Context Travel

Naoshima and Beyond: Japan’s Art Island with Simon Richmond


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The island of Naoshima in Japan's Inland Sea has been cultivating itself as a contemporary art destination since 1989. In doing so, it has created a model for arts festivals and regional regeneration projects across Japan.

Naoshima is the living canvas for a dynamic ongoing art project that began in the late 1980s. Today this idyllic island in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea has become internationally famous for its clutch of unique art galleries designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Ando Tadao. There’s also a charming fishing village where wooden houses have been transformed into large-scale installations, a bathhouse that is a stunning work of art, and outdoor sculptures from major international and Japanese talent, including Kusama Yayoi, James Turrell, and Cai Gui Quang.

Travel writer Simon Richmond first visited Naoshima in 2000 while researching the Rough Guide to Japan and has returned several times since. In this seminar, he will take you behind the scenes to explain how this ambitious arts-led model for regional regeneration came about, and how it has developed to encompass projects on the neighboring islands of Teshima and Inujima and to spawn the Setouchi Art Triennale, held every three years since 2010.

Led by an expert on Japan and the author of many guidebooks to the country, Simon Richmond, this interactive seminar provides all you need to know about Naoshima, Japan’s premier contemporary art destination. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how best to experience this beautiful, creative island and where else in Japan to find similar art museums, installations, and festivals.

Simon Richmond is a writer and photographer who has specialized in travel for over 25 years. He co-wrote the first five editions of the award-winning Rough Guide to Japan and Rough Guide to Tokyo. Simon’s expertise on Japan was gained whilst living for several years in Tokyo in the early 1990s and working as an editor for the business news organization the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He first visited Naoshima in 2000 and has returned several times since to document this unique art project as it has spread to other islands in Japan’s Inland Sea.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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