The Natural Environment
The ‘art islands’ – part of Japan’s largest national park, Setonaikai (lit. ‘Seto Inland Sea’) – are abundant in natural beauty; however, industrialization and modernization in the 20th century made a significant ecological impact on the region. The islands suffered from illegal industrial waste dumping in the 1970s and 80s, and pollution from factories, such as the copper refinery on Inujima.
The ruins of this refinery have since been repurposed to form the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum, a collaboration between the artist Yanagi Yukinori and architect Sambuichi Hiroshi. Designed to create minimal environmental footprint, the museum is built from locally available materials, harnesses natural energy to regulate temperature and uses a mirror-reflection system to naturally illuminate the space. Displayed inside are Yanagi’s works that comment on Japan’s modernization.
The rehabilitation of the islands and the creation of harmony between their inhabitants and their visitors, nature, architecture and contemporary art are constantly considered in Benesse Art Site Naoshima’s activities across all of the islands.