Garden of Fine Arts

Garden of Fine Arts, Kyoto, Japan, Tadao Ando Architects & Associates
Project year: 1994
Address: Shimogamo Hangicho, Sakyo Ward, TOKYO, Japan
Latitude/Longitude: 35.050610,135.765449

This project was designed by Tadao Ando and completed in 1994. It is a museum presenting near-life sized reproductions of famous masterpieces on porcelain panels.

The Garden of Fine Arts in Kyoto, Japan is considered to be a unique creation of European taste amidst the chaos of Japan’s ancient capital city. The serenity of traditional Japanese architecture is evoked with the exploitation of light, water and the contemporary materials of glass and concrete. Choice European artworks are transferred to ceramic panels (the most memorable being Monet’s “Waterlillies” brought to life underwater) with two intertwined ramps descending below street level, creating a series of chance encounters between art and the visitor. The gallery is an interpretation of the traditional Japanese stroll garden, where the visitor sees objects from mythical scenes often in unexpected ways through an unfolding journey.

There are 8 works in all and include Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgment” and high priest Toba’s “The Scroll of Frolicking Animals and Humans.” This is the world’s first open-air art garden. Following a gentle slope down to the second-floor basement, you can enjoy the corridor’s unique construction and the sound of rushing water from a large and small waterfall and pond. With the greenery of the nearby botanical garden in view you’ll feel as if you have been dropped in the center of a deep wood.