Apr 15–Jul 5, 2023


Living Island
6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles 90028
Mon–Sat 10 am–8 pm Su 10 am–7 pm

In biology, the word “symbiosis” refers to two organisms living together, each strengthened by the close association. Socially, the term is used for a mutually beneficial relationship between people or groups. The exhibition Symbiosis: Living Island, on view at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles from April 15 to July 5, 2023, explores the groundbreaking Inujima “Art House Project,” designed to revitalize Inujima, a depopulated Japanese island, by integrating contemporary art. The project has created a unique symbiosis between art, architecture, community, and ecology that will nurture and sustain the island for many years to come.

Inujima (“Dog Island”) is located in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, part of the city of Okayama. Once a center of copper refining and stone quarrying, the tiny island—it can be walked around in an hour—is now home to just twenty-five households, with more than half of the inhabitants over seventy years of age. In 2008, the island became one of locations of the Benesse Art Site Naoshima—activities conducted by Benesse Holdings, Inc. and Fukutake Foundation in the Inland Sea, and was transformed through art. Yuko Hasegawa, director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, was hired as the artistic director of Inujima “Art House Project,” and conceived of an environment where art, community, and ecology are harmoniously intertwined.

This video introduces Inujima and illustrates how the creation of contemporary art spaces through the Inujima Art Project has revitalized the community and the natural environment and allowed art, community and nature to live in symbiosis. It includes views of artworks by Japanese artists Kohei Nawa, Haruka Kojin, Masanori Handa, Beatriz Mihazes (Brazil) and Olafur Eliasson (Iceland/Denmark).