Benesse Art Site Naoshima Telling the world about Benesse's commitment to well-being from the island of Naoshima

Benesse Art Site
Naoshima
Telling the world about Benesse's
commitment
to well-being
from the island of Naoshima

WEBSITE

Benesse Holdings, Inc., and the Fukutake Foundation have been working together for over 30 years to develop communities with a focus on art through projects and activities led by Benesse Art Site Naoshima.

The artwork exhibited at Benesse Art Site Naoshima has been created to take advantage of specially designed buildings and the pristine backdrop of Japan’s Seto Inland Sea. Artwork is not only exhibited inside buildings, but also displayed outside in natural spaces, creating settings that are unique to the island of Naoshima. This allows visitors to appreciate the meaning of art on an even deeper level. Benesse Holdings and the Fukutake Foundation aim to offer opportunities for people to contemplate well-being by encountering art in that way, as well as by experiencing nature and meeting the island’s residents. Activities mainly based on the island of Naoshima to develop the community through art eventually led to the establishment of an international contemporary art festival called the Setouchi Triennale. This process is being promoted outside Japan as the Naoshima Method. Looking ahead, Benesse Art Site Naoshima intends to continue enhancing community life through art while spreading the message of Benesse’s approach to well-being around the world.

History A brief history of Benesse Art Site Naoshima

  • 1987

    Naoshima International Camp and Benesse House open the doors to the island

    In 1985, Tetsuhiko Fukutake, the founder of Fukutake Publishing (now Benesse Holdings) decided to develop the island town of Naoshima. The vision was realized by Soichiro Fukutake, then president of Fukutake Publishing (currently honorary advisor of Benesse Holdings). As a result of their efforts, Naoshima International Camp opened in 1989 as a campground for kids and island visitors.

  • Benesse House
    Photo : Tadasu Yamamoto
    1992

    Benesse House Museum "coexstence of nature,art, and architecture"

    Soichiro Fukutake set out to combine architecture and art with the natural beauty of the Seto Inland Sea, beginning with the opening of Benesse House in 1992, an integrated museum and hotel facility designed by Tadao Ando, one of Japan’s most renowned architects.

  • Art House Project “Kadoya” Tatsuo Miyajima “Sea of Time '98”
    Photo : Ken'ichi Suzuki
    1998

    Bringing contemporary art to the local community

    In 1998, Benesse Art Site Naoshima initiated a project to reconvert old houses into art spaces in the main residential area of the town. The project expanded the area for exhibiting artwork on the island while also creating opportunities through contemporary art for local residents to interact with people visiting the island.

  • Inujima Seirensho Art Museum
    Photo:Daici Ano
    2008

    Expanding facilities with other island communities

    Benesse Art Site Naoshima expanded its network of museums to other islands, opening the Inujima Seirensho Art Museum on the island of Inujima in 2008, and the Teshima Art Museum on the island of Teshima in 2010.In 2010, the first Setouchi Triennale international contemporary art festival was held on seven islands of the Seto Inland Sea. The festival was staged again in 2013 and 2016 in even more locations, attracting about one million visitors each time.