Teshima: The Island of Arts [2/2]
This post is the continuation of previously Teshima, The Island of Arts [1/2].
Part 1 | Part 2
2. Storm House
We took the shuttle bus from Teshima Art Museum to Karato Oka Shukaisho. Then, we walked a little to Storm House. Unfortunately, we just realized one of our colleagues was missing after we gathered in front of the installation. It took some time to find her because she did not have a wifi access.
How could she go missing? Well, that was a funny story. As the bus run infrequently for every 20-30 minutes, we did not want to miss the bus. We were so in hurry to board the bus and left my friend in the toilet (for your information, we were a group of 11 people). Fortunately, she had saved down the itinerary to her phones and she reached us by the next bus.
Storm House was an installation created inside a residential house. We left our shoes in the foyer and were greeted with a dim small traditional Japanese interior. In Storm House, I experienced ten minutes of storm coming and going inside the house. The pounding of rain, rumbling thunder and flashes of lightning, moving tree shadows, and howling wind gusts were unfolding indoors. It was totally a new experience for me as who had not experienced a storm before.
3. Shima Kitchen
By the time we were finished with Storm House, it was time for having lunch. It was too bad that by the time we went to Shima Kitchen, the restaurant was sold out. Fortunately, we still could take photos around.
The architecture of Shima Kitchen was very interesting. There were indoor and outdoor theater. The kitchen and restaurant were inside a small house, while a low undulating canopy created the outdoor theater. The fluid form of the canopy was designed to flow from the existing house, but then decrease in height and defer to neighboring dwellings. The structure was very cool because the shingles were attached loosely to a slim metal frame. They somehow rustled and fluttered slightly in the wind. Shima Kitchen was absolutely my second favorite place in Teshima.
4. Sanuki Udon Hatoba
Our next destination was located near Karato Port area. We chose to have lunch at the nearest restaurant nearby, Sanuki Udon Hatoba. The shop faced Karato Port. It served Sanuki udon made from homemade dashi stock and Takamatsu noodles. The noodles were firm and chewy, while the broth was light and tasty. The owners did not speak English, but fortunately they provided English menu.
The restaurant also served soft serve ice cream. You should try the peach flavor one. I got hooked with peach flavor ever since.
5. No One Wins
No One Wins was a permanent installation with a typical game of basketball, but there were multiple hoops on one backboard. It was simply great to just throw a bunch of balls into a bunch of hoops. As the name implied, yes no one won. At least everyone was happy.
6. Les Archieves du Coeur
This was also my third favorite place in Teshima. The artwork was located in a small building along the beach in the eastern outskirts of Karato. As the name impiled, Les Archieves du Coeur collected and exhibited the recordings of heartbeats of other people. In addition, you could record your heartbeat there to be added as part of the artwork.
We got inside the reception and the staffs were dressed in medical garbs trying to evoke a scientist feeling. I had a strange feeling already. After buying the entry ticket, there were two rooms we could explore. The smaller one on the left consisted of computers with head speakers plugged in. I could hear ten-thousands heartbeat archives separated in folders by country. It was a very interesting and unusual experience for me to personally hear strangers’ heartbeat.
Then, I headed into the next room, which was totally pitch black, illuminated by only a single light bulb that lit up in unison with rhythm of heartbeat. The bulb switched on and off as the beat went on. It was very creepy at first, just like getting inside a horror movie. As I entered the dark room, my heartbeat somehow began to synchronize with the rhythm and vibration of the heartbeat was being broadcast.
I also noticed the small mirrors on the wall with other visitors’ reflection after getting used the darkness. The sensory experience inside really created a strange complicated feeling of anxiety, surrender, and excitement inside me. Definitely not recommended for those who had heart failure and claustrophobia, as well as people who fear of the dark.
7. Teshima Yokoo House
After we were done with the artworks in Karato area, we took the shuttle bus back to the Ieura. Then, we went to Teshima Yokoo House, which was located in the area. It was once an old private house that had been transformed into a gallery that housed Yokoo’s works. The house was very striking because of the prominent tall cylindrical tower and bold red tinted glass. Red was the color that dominated the overall gallery, giving a rather unworldly look.
The layout of the exhibition was divided into three main areas. The reception consisted of dark corridors with several paintings on display that I did not remember much. Then, we were led to a courtyard with a koi pond, which might seem normal, except for the vibrant red, blue, and gold color rocks and mosaics in it. The pond continued underneath the house, a fact I just realized right after stepping onto the glass floor in the house. I could see several Yokoo’s artworks displayed on the first floor and the attic on the second level of the house.
My favorite was the outhouse, which was the tall brick cylindrical tower we could see at the beginning on the front of the museum. The interior of the tower was covered with postcards of the world’s waterfalls. Thanks to reflective floor and ceiling, the space seemed to expand vertically.
I ended my time in Teshima with a cup of Wasanbon Ice Cream bought at the gift shop in Ieura Port. Wasabon is a type of Japanese sugar with ivory color and a depth of taste that is creamy with a hint of dark brown sugar and honey flavor. The taste was one of the kind and definitely worth a try.
So, is Teshima worth visiting? Although it took extra effort to get there, the island is absolutely worth visiting. What I love the most about Teshima is the tranquility, quietness, and desolateness that we could hardly find nowadays. Not to mention the astonishing artworks with breathtaking sea or landscapes in the background. This place is perfect for art and architecture lovers, as well as those who seek to find unique destination in Japan.
Part 1 | Part 2
Are you interested in visiting Teshima? Make sure to take at least a day to visit Teshima so you can enjoy each artworks with leisure. Hope you enjoyed the post and found my story helpful in planning your trip to Japan.