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The Present Tense


A trip to Naoshima, Japan

July 21, 2016

Situated off the coast of Japan in the Seto Inland Sea, the small and tranquil fishing island of Naoshima is an unexpected mecca for lovers of contemporary art and design.

The many museums and art sites on Naoshima and nearby island Teshima were created based on the concept of coexistence between nature, art and architecture. And while getting there may seem like a serious detour for many visitors to Japan, it's an experience that's rich and unforgettable.


A view inside the Teshima Art Museum designed by Tokyo-based architect Ryue Nishizawa and Japanese artist Rei Naito.


The entrance to the Lee Ufan Museum, a collaboration between the internationally acclaimed artist Lee Ufan and architect Tadao Ando.


Photography by Hiroshi Sugimoto outside the Benesse House Museum.


"The Secret of the Sky," a marble sculpture by Kan Yasuda in the Benesse House Museum.


Walkway to the beach in the Benesse House Hotel designed by Tadao Ando. Installation on wall, Blind Blue Landscape, 2009, by Teresita Fernández Blind Blue Landscape.


Inside the Chichu Art Museum, building designed by Tadao Ando with artworks on permanent display by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and Walter De Maria.


George Rickey's Three Squares Vertical Diagonal, 1972-82, one of many outdoor works at the Benesse Art Site.


Photograph by Hiroshi Sugimoto mounted atop a cliff by the sea.


An installation by Japanese artist Mariko Mori, the title Tom Na H-iu is inspired by the ancient Celtic site of spiritual transmigration. The monolithic glass object is linked to a Japanese observatory and interactively glows when it receives data that indicates the death of a star.


View over a small town on Teshima Island.


Fishing nets in the port town Miyanoura on Naoshima Island.


Looking out at the Seto Inland Sea through the bridge room on the ferry.

Photography by Erika Siegel, web manager at The Future Perfect.