Chichu Art Museum

Chichu Art Museum
Chichu Prem
Established July 18, 2004
Location Naoshima, Kagawa, Japan
Director Soichiro Fukutake
Website Chichu Art Museum (English)

The Chichu Art Museum (地中美術館 Chichū Bijutsukan?) (lit. "art museum in the earth") is a museum built directly into a southern portion of the island of Naoshima in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. It was designed by architect Tadao Ando and opened its doors to the public on July 18, 2004.



The subterranean museum is under the administration of the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation, a project of the Benesse Corporation whose president Soichiro Fukutake also acts as director of the facility. It exists as part of an ongoing initiative to "rethink the relationship between nature and people,"[1] and is one of several arts-related sites generating tourist interest in the area.

Despite its position buried underground, the design of the building is such that it facilitates the exclusive use of natural light to illuminate a number of the exhibits, changing their appearance at different viewing times throughout the day and, in essence, encompassing the building itself within the same realm as the art on display.

Exhibited works

The site features permanent installations by Walter De Maria and James Turrell, as well as painted works in the Water Lilies series by Claude Monet.

Walter De Maria

  • "Time/Timeless/No Time," 2004 - granite, mahogany, gold leaf, concrete
Claude Monet's Water-Lily Pond c.1915-1926

Claude Monet

  • "Water Lilies," 1914-17 - oil on Canvas, 200×200cm
  • "Water Lilies, Reflections of Weeping Willows," 1916-19 - oil on canvas, 100×200cm
  • "Water-Lily Pond," 1917-19 - oil on canvas, 100×200cm
  • "Water-Lily Pond," c.1915-1926 - oil on canvas, diptych, each part: 200×300cm

James Turrell

  • "Afrum, Pale Blue," 1968 - projector
  • "Open Field," 2000 - fluorescent light, neon tube
  • "Open Sky," 2004 - LED, xenon lamp

Chichu Garden

Located between the ticket center and main museum building, the Chichu Garden is an area roughly 400m² in size that features approximately 150 types of plants and 40 kinds of trees that either appeared in Monet's works or were collected by the artist during his lifetime. As Monet was an avid gardener, his own designs as well as inspiration gleaned directly from some of his most famous paintings were used to design the garden and ponds that make up the area, which even feature some of the same water lilies that appear in his famous series.

The rationale behind Chichu Garden is one where, through physical experience, it is believed one's understanding and appreciation of Claude Monet's work can be deepened.[2]


External links

Coordinates: 34°26′59.13″N 133°59′08.89″E / 34.4497583°N 133.9858028°E / 34.4497583; 133.9858028

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