February 22, 2010

Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan

No wonder they are coined the Land of the Rising Sun. With endless streams of inspiration from the bustling streets of the cities to quiet back alleys shouldering colorful neon signs, it's not difficult to fathom why famous designers and musicians often return for more.

The trip to Hakone's Open-Air Museum , in Japan, was a breath of fresh air. At about 70,000 m2, the museum habours 120 outdoor sculptures, a Picasso Pavillion, a 42° C foot spa, and a Picasso Cafe. Its spacious grounds combine with bewildering spectacle of snow-capped mountains and valleys was an experience not to be missed.

One would probably argue that it was not the best season for such a display but I love how the light snow and lack of sun brought a different perspective to the exhibits. The single best place I took interest among the cold would probably be Gabriel Loire's tower of faceted glass called, "Symphonic Sculpture". Standing at the foot of the tower gazing up to the top of the spiral staircase, you can't help but be in awed by the enchanting colors that were lacking in the sea of white outside. The late French artist's was the pioneer in using slab glass which is much thicker and stronger than the stained glass technique of the Middle Ages. His liking towards the colour blue (associated with peace) was evident. The impressionist reflected everyday subjects like cars, fishing men in Symphonic Sculpture which was not often seen in his works for cathedrals. Strangely, the sight of ascending angels and soaring birds brought calmness to my mind.

Do pop by the Open-Air Museum if you happen to plan a trip down to Hakone, it's definitely worth the effort.

The Hakone Open-Air Museum: Ninotaira, Hakone-machi, Kanagawa-ken, 250-0493 Japan


Anonymous said...

Saw your blog when searching for hakone as planning to Tokyo in end Nov2010.
Is the open-air musemum on going?
Which hotel you staying while there? And how you travle to Hakone?
Tks for sharing-Jayne