Bow down to Tadao Ando.
The Chichu Art Museum is a completely unique modern art museum built into a hillside overlooking the southern coast of the island. It was build in 2014 and the philosophy behind is to re-think the relationship between nature and people.
The building itself is a master piece, designed by Ando Tadao, and is mostly located underground – only using natural light from above to illuminate the artwork. This creates a viewing experience that is influenced by the natural environment, and it is very special. Maybe the best museum we ever saw.
The museum has been built around very small collection of specific art pieces. The first gallery displays large murals from Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” series. This is followed by a few works by James Turrell, who uses light as a medium. Especially his works our girls loved. Finally, the deepest part of the Chichu Museum houses the “Time/Timeless/No Time” installation by Walter De Maria.
Admission to the Chichu Art Museum requires advance reservations for a specific date and time slot. This reservation we did online (in English) 3 months before visiting, and we had the last 4 tickets for this day. As soon as you know you are going to Naoshima book the tickets to Chichu, it would almost be a crime to come to this island and not visit this museum. Bags and cameras are not allowed in the museum at all.
We spend about an hour exploring the art works and then we did lunch in the small café with a stunning view of the Seto Inland Sea. I would come back to Chichu in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.
Tickets can be booked here: ChiChu