Benesse Art Site Naoshima — Contemporary art's power to stimulate people and transform the region. A lecture by Soichiro Fukutake and Akiko Miki

27 June 2019


Benesse Art Site Naoshima has created special spaces unlike anywhere else in the world since 1987, on Naoshima, Teshima, and Inujima—three isolated islands in the Seto Inland Sea—by placing art and architecture in the midst of the great nature and distinctive local cultures of the islands. The aim is to give visitors opportunities to reconsider the idea of "Benesse­=Well-Being" through encounters with art and the pristine Japanese landscape, and by interacting with the local people.

Designated as Japan’s first national park with its beautiful landscapes and historical townscapes, Setouchi Inland Sea has long struggled with the negative legacies of excessive modernization and urbanization such as pollution, declining birthrate, and an aging population. Through over 30 years of activity, Benesse Art Site Naoshima has become one of the leading art destinations both in Japan and internationally, contributing to regional revitalization, encouraging critical reflections on contemporary society through the prism of the symbiotic interrelations between art, architecture, and nature, and suggesting a new paradigm of universal scope from its insular vantage point.

The site’s president, Soichiro Fukutake, who has been directing activity since the beginning, will speak for the first time in Russia about its development and the true meaning of happiness that he discovered through his experiences with Benesse Art Site Naoshima. Akiko Miki, International Artistic Director, will discuss some distinctive characteristics and the general artistic direction of this globally unique site



Soichiro Fukutake is President of Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Chairman of the Board of Fukutake Foundation, Honorary Adviser to Benesse Holdings, Inc., and General Producer of the Setouchi Triennale. He is an Okayama native, who graduated from Waseda University, Faculty of Science and Engineering. He joined Fukutake Publishing (now Benesse Holdings, Inc.) in 1973, was appointed Representative Director in 1986, and became Chairman and CEO in 2007. He was Executive Adviser to the company from 2014 and has served as Honorary Adviser since October 2016. He spearheaded the Inland Sea renaissance around Naoshima, Teshima, and Inujima, focused on art, nature, and architecture for more than 30 years through Benesse Art Site Naoshima projects.


Akiko Miki is International Artistic Director at Benesse Art Site Naoshima. She was the Co-director of Yokohama Triennale 2017 and Artistic Director of its 2011 edition, Senior and Chief Curator at Palais de Tokyo (2000–2014). She has been Guest Curator for major museums including Mori Art Museum, Yokohama Museum of Art, and Barbican Art Gallery, as well as for international shows such as the 1998 Taipei Biennial. Recent curatorial projects include Islands, Constellations & Galapagos (2017), Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection - from Shōhaku and Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer (2016), and Hiroshi Sugimoto: Today the world died (2014). She is also co-author/co-editor of a number of books, including Insular Insight (Lars Müller, 2011), which received the DAM Architectural Book Award, and Nobuyoshi Araki: Self, Life, Death (Phaidon Press, 2005).


 Free admission with advance registration.

The lecture is in Japanese with simultaneous translation into Russian.


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