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  • Gaby Doman

Making a Comeback

Yayoi Kusama’s Iconic Artwork is Restored

A child runs close to a giant yellow pumpkin installation by the sea

Photo credit: Yue Ting Lin, Unsplash

Naoshima island’s iconic yellow pumpkin has been replaced after a typhoon washed away and badly damaged the original in 2021.

The 2-meter high sculpture by beloved Japanese contemporary artist, Yayoi Kusama, was installed on a Naoshima pier 27 years ago, in 1994. It has since become a popular symbol of the island, which is one of a cluster of “art islands” in the Seto Inland Sea.

The islands host the Setouchi Triennale, a highly anticipated island-hopping art event, hosted once every three years. In the interim, guests visit Naoshima to enjoy its laidback lifestyle, sleek architecture and chic art galleries.

The new pumpkin sculpture, unveiled on 4 October 2022, looks identical to its predecessor but is cast from more durable material to withstand the battering it will face during typhoon season. The installation comes just a month before the Setouchi Triennale comes to a close, giving art lovers on the island the perfect send-off.

A crowd is gathered to look at a yellow pumpkin installation next to the sea

Photo credit: Henry Perks, Unsplash


Naoshima is a popular addition to the itineraries we create at Luxurique. A sample itinerary could include visiting the Art House Project, where artists have transformed empty houses into art spaces. Next, you’ll tour the incredible Ando Museum, a 100-year-old traditional wooden home transformed by renowned architect, Tadao Ando.

You’ll wander the airy rooms of The Benesse House, an integrated hotel and museum designed by Ando. Linger over sweeping views of the Seto Inland Sea and admire the beautifully curated selection of paintings, sculptures and installations throughout the house.

Two people sit on a deck overlooking a serene sea view

Photo credit: Kaori Chin, Unsplash

You’ll explore the connection between nature and people at Chichu Art Museum, a mostly underground museum designed to have minimal impact on the landscape of Naoshima. The permanent display features Claude Monet, James Turrell and Walter De Maria artworks.

In the evening, unwind in the elegant, newly-opened ryokan, Roka, where contemporary and classic come together in perfect harmony. Alternatively, step aboard guntû, a sleek wooden-panelled yacht hotel designed by Yasushi Horibe, for a restful night spent on the water.

Contact us to discuss your next trip to Japan and how we can tailor it to your needs.


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