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Encountering surprising and beautiful juxtapositions defined my visit to Japan's Naoshima, a small island that Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando has helped transform into a destination for lovers of contemporary art and design.For a 1989 festival, Ando designed a campground where the public could contemplate art and Naoshima's natural beauty. In 1992, an Ando-designed hotel-and-art complex opened, Benesse House. I got a thrill passing one of Hiroshi Sugimoto's extraordinary photographs of theaters on my way to breakfast the two mornings I spent at Benesse House.Over the next decades, Ando designed several more buildings for Naoshima, including additional suites of rooms for Benesse House, with the most exclusive connected to the main galleries by monorail.Perhaps the most stunning of Ando's structures is the Chichu Art Museum, which opened in 2004 . A Claude Monet painting of water lilies hangs in a room over a floor of white stone cubes that reminded me of the bright stones in the shrine courtyard elsewhere on the island.
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