Today, just a few pictures of the Go’o Shrine on Naoshima.
It used to be a very old shrine that had pretty much been abandoned postwar. When the Art House Project was implemented on Naoshima, its location was chosen for a new piece of art by Hiroshi Sugimoto.
The artist completely rebuilt the shrine, in the style of the very ancient shrines at the dawn of Shintoism. However, he included a few contemporary twists. Some are obvious, some are not. By the way, you can read a longer description if you follow the link in the previous paragraph.
The actual name of the artwork is Appropriate Proportion, but honestly, I’ve never heard anyone call it this way. For pretty much everyone, it is the Go’o Shrine.
If you know Naoshima and/or are a long-time reader of this blog, you’re probably already familiar with the pictures above.
However, you may not have seen what I’m about to show you next. See, this is not all there is to see about the Go’o Shrine. It has another intriguing and more mysterious dimension, except that until recently, pictures were not allowed there. Now they are. What am I talking about? The fact that the glass stairs don’t just go from the building to the stone slab. They continue underground!
To go there, you need to go to and through a very narrow passage on the side of the shrine:
I don’t advise it for claustrophobic people. I don’t think I am, but still, walking through this corridor, one of my first thoughts was “What if there is an earthquake here and now? I’ll probably be crushed to death, right?”
Actually, I probably won’t be, unless it’s a very big one. The corridor has been dug in the bedrock itself and usually, the small islands are less sensitive to (regular-strength) earthquakes. The island is basically the bedrock sticking out of the ground (and the water).
At the end of the dark corridor, this is what you can see: the stairs continuing… to the innards of the earth probably:
Back to the light!
And when you finally exit the corridor (about two or three people can fit in the small underground shrine), this is what you see:
A very pleasant and reassuring view (I guess I may be a little claustrophobic after all).
If you want to know more about the Art House Project, check this page:
That’s all for today. If you like what you’ve read, don’t forget to share this post on your social media of choice.
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