art and architecture in kagawa

You might have heard about Naoshima: an island where you can experience arts and the great architecture by Tadao Ando, but there are some more in a wider area. I was recommended to go to Teshima (the island next to Naoshima) but couldn't spare a day to take ferries (only four journeys a day from Takamatsu). If you like to check what's going on in the area you better have enough time!

(above) This is the ground floor of Kagawa prefecture office (in Takamatsu): the architect Kenzo Tange's early work built in the '50s, greatly inspired by Le Corbusier and in Japanese style. The wall piece is done by Genichiro Inokuma who was a local and international artist.
The artist's museum is in Marugame (30 mins away from Takamatsu): Mimoca. He always strived for the new expression throughout his life. You can see his paintings as well as a part of his belongings in their permanent collection. The current temporary exhibition was showing what stayed unchanged in his varied paintings. It was fun and very interesting. Their next exhibition is about a London artist: Francis Upritchard. The architect of the museum is Yoshio Taniguchi who also designed the extension of Moma in NY.
Mr Taniguchi also designed this one: Higashiyama Kaii Setouchi museum (sorry only in Japanese). Kaii originally was from Yokohama but had a strong connection with this district. Kaii was great at painting landscape especially using blues. 
And a sculptor-designer (and more) Isamu Noguchi. You can't really see anything but these two stones which are not his work. Over the stone wall there is his studios and house where he spent later of his life in a town where they produce quality stone. You can see his finished/unfinished work in the wall and the mountain disappearing on the background! He also designed a garden with stones next to his house with the seasonal trees: ume (plum tree?), sakura (cherry blossom), tsubaki (camellia) and momo (peach tree)... and it will be nice to visit in different seasons.
This art goes back a lot more. This was built in Kompira shrine complex (in Kotohira, Kagawa) in 17th century (the part at the back, on the left in the picture. the front was built more recent about 100 years ago?). It accommodates fine paintings by Okyo Maruyama from 18th century. They are drawn on the fusuma: sliding doors dividing the rooms. It might sound funny for you but our house used to be built very flexible with fusumas (because of the climate and the small land), and one room functioned as bedroom, dining room and guest room. If you like to make a bigger space for the guests you'd just get rid of these fusumas and join two rooms. Anyway that means the fusuma functioned as the wall which became a great canvas for the wealth to show their taste. So a lot of the old masterpieces were drawn on the fusuma and byobu (panels which also functioned as a room divider). Amazing!

When you can make it over to Setouchi Triennale this year, you should also check out those too! 

Mimocaでは、猪熊弦一郎が変幻自在に表現を変えながらも、一貫して変化しなかった部分に焦点を当てた企画展があり、とても面白かったです。次の企画展はロンドンのアーティストFrancis Uprichardで、友人たちがデザインを担当しています。ロンドンの風を感じてみたい方は是非、お足を運んでみてください。

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