The Chichu Art museum was commissioned by Mr Fukutake on a remote almost mythical island of Naoshima in the south of Japan, as a place for humans to reconnect with art and nature.
Originally Mr Fukutake’s father had a plan to build children’s campsites on the island. When, in 1985, the younger man visited the proposed sites, the way of life of these island people provoked a revolution in his thinking.
"I saw the traditional wooden houses, the people’s behaviour and the ties that still existed between neighbours and saw that the island’s residents lived a self-sufficient life intimately connected with nature. I found that my perspective on daily life took a 180-degree turn. I started to see modernisation and urbanisation as one and the same, and our large Japanese cities began to feel like monstrous places where people are cut off from nature and feverishly pursue only their own desires. Today’s cities are far from spiritually fulfilling."
The island in the Seto Inland Sea was nothing more than an industrial refinery and seeing the self sufficient eco system in danger, Mr Fukutake decided instead to use art as a catalyst and commissioned the art museum to revive the local community.
The masterpiece designed by Tadao Ando, the Chichu Museum is built underground like a symbol of not imposing a ‘museum’ with the name of a wealthy person but rather to integrate harmoniously to the existing geography and put art at the center of the revival of the community. A concept ensuing from the Shinto practices.
Mr Fukutake advocates a “public interest capitalism” where wealthy individuals are not collecting for speculative purposes but to use art to help rebuild rural communities.