Art gallery in a tunnel
In Japan, artistic spaces inside a tunnel. Cultural energy and design

"Tunnel of Light", inaugurated on the occasion of the 2018 Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, is a project by MAD Architects, which features the installation of various permanent artistic spaces, with the aim of restoring cultural energy to the region

In 2000, Fram Kitagawa founded the Triennale Echigo-Tsumari as a means of restoring the cultural energy that had been lost in the region. With a surface area of more than 760 square kilometers, the Echigo-Tsumari art camp houses about 160 works, in 200 villages. The art installations are made  with the collaboration of internationally renowned and local artists and are scattered across all fields of the area, forests, empty houses, schools and other abandoned spaces

 

Installation inside the tunnel

As part of the 2018 programme, MAD Architects have been invited to modernize the Kiyotsu Gorge tunnel - a historic 750-metre passage through the distinctive rock formations. Using the "five elements" of nature - wood, earth, metal, fire, water - the MAD scheme transforms points along the historic tunnel through the creation of different architectural spaces and artistic atmospheres. A small wooden hut was built next to the tunnel to serve as a cafeteria and souvenir shop. There is a thermal spa inside the pitched cedar roof on the upper floor. A circular opening - the "Periscope" - in the ceiling opens towards the roof. The entrance to the tunnel has been equipped with a series of different coloured lights that define each point of observation along the tunnel

 

Installation inside the tunnel

The first of the renovations of the vantage point is the "invisible bubble". '' Dewdrops'' are scattered along the curvature of the landscape like it landed from another world. “The Drop" is a series of reflective openings that are like windows of uncertainty: while projecting a reality they reflect the natural environment, like molecules of water, suspended from the ceiling and walls. The culmination of the restoration is expressed in the form of a "light cave", depicting the distinct rock formations, lush vegetation and turquoise water of the precious ground in the enclosed space

 

Installation inside the tunnel

MAD's "Tunnel of Light" is an artistic transformation that demonstrates how art and nature can come together to reinvigorate a community. Each of the installations forms a poetic space in which visitors can transcend the role of observer and become an active participant, enabling people to experience nature in unexpected ways

Installation inside the tunnel

 

Il "Tunnel of Light" di MAD è una trasformazione artistica che dimostra come l'arte e la natura possano unirsi per rinvigorire una comunità. Ognuna delle installazioni, forma uno spazio poetico in cui i visitatori possono trascendere il ruolo di osservatore e diventare un partecipante attivo, consentendo alle persone di immedesimarsi nella natura in modi inaspettati

 

Installation inside the tunnel

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