Marugame, Japan

Issey Miyake and Isamu Noguchi

Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art

Marugame, a small port on the shore of Shikoku, Japan’s eastern island, is the site of the Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art. This bold box of a building was designed by Yoshio Taniguchi and built in 1991 in honor of the late painter Inokuma, who was born in Marugame but lived for many years in the West. The museum’s rectangular white facade, which from the town square appears framed like a giant television set, is marked with blown-up versions of Inokuma’s childlike brush drawings of animals.

This innocent note established the tone of an exhibition that represented an astonishing cultural exchange. At Marugame the divide between East and West that was so flamboyantly challenged by the designer Issey Miyake in his first book East Meets West nearly twenty years ago was once again dismissed in a collaboration that thrilled the schoolchildren of the town and delighted the adults

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