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REMOTE HOSPITALITY - Tale of an island

Two kilometers from Okayama is Inujima, a small island located in the Seto Inland Sea.

The landscape character of Inujima is industrial in nature. In fact, at the beginning of the twentieth century the island was hit by a strong migratory wave due to the location of a refinery and the production of granite used for the construction of imperial residences throughout Japan. The same production activity was closed ten years later from its opening, due to the whirlwind lowering of the prices of stone materials. Thus the island was slowly abandoned.

Today Inujima is inhabited by about eighty people, it represents a cultural heritage in constant evolution, with particular attention to art.

The process that allowed the transition from the industrial to the artistic character of this landscape was allowed not only by the projects of the Setouchi Triennale and by the architectural intervention of Kazuyo Sejima, above all by the strong desire to reactivate what was already present on the island.

A reflection on pre-existences that allowed us to look at this experience as a realizable utopia.

Kazuyo Sejima, during the third edition of Icon Design Talks 2019, talks about his project "Inujima Art House Project" which aims to inspire the local community of Inujima, allowing them to "experience the splendid landscapes of everyday life and familiar natural environments that extend beyond the works of art ".

In 2010, three galleries were inaugurated on the island, F-Art House, S-Art House and I-Art House, designed to accommodate special installations and the Nakanotani Gazebo, an area where you can stop.

In 2013 the opening of two new galleries, A-Art House and C-Art House, created to host the works in every corner of the village. These tunnels in fact cover almost the entire surface of the island. Lightweight architectures built with a wide range of materials. The tiles and other components of the old island houses alternate with clear acrylic glass and aluminum capable of reflecting the landscape.

Inujima Art House Project is a project capable of developing a new model of living the landscape. A project in which the concept of HOSPITALITY, the main theme of the IDT19 event, is able to be translated and expressed through five fundamental words chosen for this event: sharing, socializing, welcoming, planning, integrating .

Inujima Art House Project gives the island a new memory. It is a project that reshapes the contours of a geography of proximity that has been abandoned for years.



KAZUYO SEJIMA, architect

With introduction by ANDREA BOSCHETTI, architect.


8 to 13 April 2019

Riccardo Catella Foundation, Milan


© Maura Mantelli

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