The Art House Project: James Turrell and Tadao Ando in Naoshima


Ando and Turrell collaborated on Minamidera, a Buddhist temple on Naoshima, a small island in Japan’s Inland Sea. Is it worth noting that Ando was a boxer and Turrell was a Quaker? Here is one exchange from their conversation inside the completed space:

Ando:The color is really nice. I have no difficulty just being here for 10 minutes.
Turrell:Sometimes 10 minutes is difficult in modern life. This is fine that the situation of a work like this in a small town, puts together traditional and the contemporary. It’s a way that makes some sense. I think that things in contemporary art must be something for you.They need to be near your life, too. People here at first, may wonder about this work, and about the architecture. Over time, it should be very interesting for them, because other people will come on a long journey just to see their town.

The Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum oversees “The Art House Project,” where disused traditional buildings are restored in collaboration with a contemporary artist. In addition to Turrell, the artists Tatsuo Miyajima, Rei Naito, and Hiroshi Sugimoto have completed Art Houses. The hotel on the island, Bennesse House, was designed by Ando. The crappily decorated rooms each have generally good, unique, contemporary art in them.