Industrial ruins reborn as a world-class art complex
The Inujima Seirensho Art Museum is a unique art museum located on Inujima Island in Okayama, japan. What sets this museum apart is its concept of “using what exists to create what is to be.” The museum has preserved and recreated a former copper refinery, turning it into a world-class art complex.
Inujima Island, which literally means “Dog Island,” is named after a rock formation on the island that resembles a sitting dog. The island has a rich history and is known for its industrial heritage. The Inujima Seirensho Art Museum and the Art House Project are scattered around the island, making it an art lover’s paradise.
The Inujima Seirensho Art Museum is housed in the remains of a former copper refinery that was established about 100 years ago. The museum has received numerous awards for its innovative design, which incorporates natural energy, sunlight, and wind flow. The architecture of the museum, designed by Hiroshi Sambuichi, is also seen on Naoshima Island, another art destination in the Seto Inland Sea.
One of the notable works on display at the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum is by Yukinori Yanagi. Inspired by Yukio Mishima, a renowned novelist who criticized Japan’s modernization, Yanagi’s work reflects on the cultural and historical significance of the island.
The Art House Project on Inujima Island is another highlight of the art scene on the island. The project aims to create a utopia by using old houses scattered around the island as art galleries. The daily lives of the locals and the art installations coexist, creating a unique and immersive experience. The Art House Project is also developed in Naoshima, where several vacant old houses have been converted into art installations.
In addition to the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum and the Art House Project, there are other art destinations in the Seto Inland Sea that are worth visiting. Naoshima Island is home to the Benesse House, Chichu Art Museum, and Lee Ufan Museum. These museums showcase contemporary art and offer a different perspective on the relationship between art, architecture, and nature.
Visiting Inujima and Teshima Islands on a day trip from Naoshima Island or Uno Port is recommended. Most visitors to Inujima Island usually stay overnight at Uno Port or Naoshima Island. To get to Inujima Island, take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to JR Okayama Station, and then change trains to JR Saidaiji Station. From there, it’s only a 30-minute taxi or bus ride to Hoden Port, where the ferry terminal is located. Ferries make three round trips a day between Naoshima Island and Inujima Island via Teshima Island.
Inujima Island is also one of the venues for the Setouchi Triennale, a large-scale art festival held once every three years on the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. During the festival period, which lasts approximately 100 days, the number of ferry services is increased to accommodate the influx of visitors. This allows art enthusiasts to take their time to view the artworks while exploring Naoshima and Teshima Islands.
The Seto Inland Sea is a region known for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. The combination of art, architecture, and nature makes it a unique destination for art lovers and travelers seeking a different kind of experience. Whether it’s exploring the industrial ruins turned art complex on Inujima Island or visiting the world-renowned museums on Naoshima Island, there is something for everyone in this art-filled paradise.
In conclusion, the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum and the Art House Project on Inujima Island offer a unique and immersive art experience. The preservation of the former copper refinery and the utilization of old houses as art galleries showcase the island’s industrial heritage and the creativity of its inhabitants. Combined with the other art destinations in the Seto Inland Sea, such as Naoshima Island, the region becomes a world-class art complex that attracts visitors from all over the world. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a different kind of travel experience, Inujima Island and the surrounding islands offer a blend of heritage, architecture, art, and nature that is sure to captivate and inspire.
Address And Maps Location:
327-4 Inujima, Higashi-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken