I went back to Naoshima again in September, staying at the Benesse Art Site. There are a number of installations in the town and a couple of spectacular buildings by Tadao Ando. The view of the Seto Inland Sea makes it even more beautiful. This time, however, what really caught my attention was the works by James Turrell. He makes large rooms and space where light itself becomes the object. You actually step inside his art. It cannot be described, it has to be experienced. He notes that he works with frequencies of light that resonate, based on distance to the wall ahead of you. In other words, what you see is what your brain creates out of the visual stimula. Leave it to your mind to appreciate the rest.
Open Sky (2004，Naoshima) can be viewed at anytime, but a special sunset viewing, Night Program, is also available.
Turrell's works defy the accelerated habits of people especially when looking at art. He feels that viewers spend so little time with the art that it makes it hard to appreciate.(Quote from Artinfo)
"I feel my work is made for one being, one individual. You could say that's me, but that's not really true. It's for an idealized viewer. Sometimes I'm kind of cranky coming to see something. I saw the Mona Lisa when it was in L.A., saw it for 13 seconds and had to move on. But, you know, there's this slow-food movement right now. Maybe we could also have a slow-art movement, and take an hour."
PBS Special Art21 website: Spirituality
I can't find any video that really does his works at Naoshima justice, but a similar room where you can watch the sky both above and below can be found here (with interview):
This is in German with English subtitles:
(3 bottom photos from Yoji Kinoshita's blog)