Lee Ufan Museum in Naoshima 李禹煥美術館

In the last post, I wrote about the Chichu museum in Naoshima. Now I’d like to introduce another great art site the Lee Ufan Museum in this beautiful island in the Seto Inland Sea.

This museum again designed by Tadao Ando showcases works by Lee Ufan, the Korean Mono-ha artist. As you approach the museum, you’ll see the Pole Place first. An iron plate, big stone and hefty concrete pole are arranged carefully here. To your left, you’ll see an installation titled “Relatum – Dialogue”.

The installation is blending into the beautiful landscape although the matarials of the objects are very different. Here you can sit down, chill out and enjoy the relationship between the space and the installation.

Behind the Pole Place, there is a path with tall walls. I felt it was separating the museum space from the outer world without completing cutting it off. Natural light comes through to make beautiful patterns of shadow. Walking through the path seemed sacred somehow; I felt as if I was getting rid of impurities from myself.

There are 6 rooms inside of the museum. The first room is rather a courtyard titled the Correspondence room. There’s no roof so the sunlight comes through. This triangle shape room is filled with gravel and has a rock and iron plate with one corner slightly flipped. I felt there was some tension from the contrast between objects with different materials as well as the contrast between the cold concrete, minimalist architecture and nature

Amongst the 5 rooms inside, my favourites was the Silence Room. In this dark and quiet room, there’s only a rock and a big iron plate. This simple installation provides a perfect environment for meditation. Immersing myself in this minimalist space made me think about different relationships exist in the world.

There are rooms like Encounter room that showcases his paintings too. This may sound strange, but I think his paintings are similar to yoga practice. Yoga is a process of self-discovery to become better self through repetitive practice and I wonder if repeatedly painting some same patterns on the white space is a similar thing.

It’s a small museum, but the atmosphere will make you feel like wondering about a little longer. 小さな美術館ですが、全体の雰囲気がもう少し長くとどまっていたいという気分にさせてくれます。

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