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