28 October 2011

Chichu Art Museum

Naoshima island (off Okayama Prefecture, Japan) manages to maintain its quaint Japanese rural town feel, but contrasts it so well with the modern art that’s scattered all over the island.

Featuring artworks and architecture by Claude Monet, Walter De Maria, James Turrel and Tadao Ando, Chichu Art Museum is one such modern scattering. I must admit, I’m a little embarrassed of my post museum visit reaction. After viewing paintings by Claude Monet, I had similar feelings to that of having just met a celebrity. I realized I’ve never seen famous works of art up close and personal before. And now I’m hooked! The pure size of the paintings was kind of mesmerizing.

The museum is best described by Soichiro Fukutake, the director of Chichu Art Museum and President of Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation. In the Chichu handbook I purchased, he states:

As suggested by its name, chichu (underground), this museum is built below a slightly elevated hill that was once developed as a saltpan facing the Seto Inland Sea. Without destroying the beautiful natural scenery of the Seto Inland and seeking to create a site for dialogues of the mind, this museum is an expression of my belief that “art must exist amid nature.”

Claude Monet is an artist who expressed himself while continually confronting nature as he created artworks. Walter De Maria and James Turrel are influenced in some way by Monet’s attitude towards nature and having metaphorically continued to express visions of the universe using the earth as a canvas. Likewise, Tadao Ando, an architect who questions the relationship between the environment and architecture, activates the nature of the Seto Inland Sea. It is my intension that the artworks by these four people provide visitors with an opportunity to dialogue with nature and one’s mind.

We weren’t allowed to take photographs inside the museum, so I’ll just share a few pictures from the Chichu Handbook. The photographers are Naoya Hatakeyama, Takeo Shimizu and Tetsuya Yamamoto. 

Claude Monet

Walter De Maria

James Turrel

Tadao Ando

26 October 2011


I’m slowly but surely putting together a portfolio of personal work. This is where it began: 2008

Exciting, stressful, terrifying. My first ever range. It focused on mixing pre-nineteenth century shapes with colours and attitudes similar to what I’d been seeing in a lot of street style blogs. The shaping ultimately resulted in quite an androgynous look. I wanted to focus on working with a variety of textures (including chiffon, pleather, silk satin and knits) and various fabric distressing techniques like staining and bleaching. I was really happy with the way the range physically moved along the runway (skirt hoops swaying and chiffon flowing) and its result was as dramatic as I’d hoped it would be.

17 October 2011

Mika Ninagawa

Today I sat down to a coffee table book of Mika Ninagawa’s photography. Needless to say I’m blogging about it now because I haven’t been able to get it off my mind!! She’s a 39 year old (that looks 29 – what’s new – Japanese and their good genes!!) photographer famous for her use of vivid colours and incongruous forms. For now, I’ve got a few sneak peeks for you right here, but for more ogling make sure to check out her website

6 October 2011

Okayama Castle

Okayama-jo (nicknamed “Crow Castle” for its black exterior) has been on my list of “travel to” destinations for a while. I’ve taken a somewhat contradictory touristy/untouristy approach to castles in Japan. Yes, I’m the freak that’s setting the self timer and running in front of the camera to capture the proof, but I’m also the person that refuses to pay entrance for the castle because A) I find the inside of castles extremely boring and B) I’m perfectly content with a grabbing a picture of the impressive exterior (with me in front of course). As superficial as that sounds, travel really is about seeing what you want and not wasting time on the rest…right?