inspiration through exploration: japan (part 2)

On the recommendation of a friend we ventured out to Naoshima Island, taking every possible means of public transportation to get there but as the brochure says – if you like art, architecture and nature, then this is your place – and it totally was. The island is dotted with site specific, modern, minimalist sculptures and museums all of which play with the natural beauty of the island and the South Seto Sea.

(l to r) Yayoi Kusama, Walter De Maria & Lee Ufan

Many of the indoor places you were not allowed to take photos, so there is a lot that is not pictured here, which was honestly kind of nice to just experience the spaces and the art. They also timed the entrances into spaces so that you could enjoy them as they were intended rather than in a space squished with tourists from wall to wall. I imagine that if the Louve showed the Mona Lisa in this way, it would be a completely different experience viewing her. It was a good reminder that slowing down and focusing on what you are seeing is way more important than getting that perfect photo.

(l to r) Sou Fujimoto, SANAA an architecture studio led by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa & Cai Guo-Qiang

We also visited the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park which was a little bit of a research trip for me. The have a very coveted residency program there I would love to apply for at some point in the next few years. So I reached out to my circle of clay friends and was able to meet with the program director to get a tour of the studios, kilns and the grounds. Now that I’ve been there, and seen how amazing their facilities are, I want to go even more! Fingers crossed for this in the future.

shigaraki ceramic cultural park (l to r) gigantic 5.2 cubic meter gas kiln, entrance sign to the park & one of the many ceramic installations

By now, we are actually back in California, and in-between saying hi to everyone that we’ve missed for months and going through our ridiculous pile of mail, we already planning our next adventure. Next up is a North America road trip, so stay tuned for more art, studio visits and a little bit of actual art making. Thanks for joining me on this amazing adventure!

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