Road Trip: Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture

We have always been fascinate with light for its biological and psychological effects that impact the health and wellbeing of humans. It is also possibly the single most important aspect of a space. So when we realized that there was an empty slot to visit one of James Turrell's permanent works titled "The House of Light", we immediately reserved the entire house to ourselves for a night.

Commissioned by Japanese curator Fram Kitagawa and inspired by Junichiro Tanizaki's book "In praise of shadows", James Turrell together with architect Daigo Ishii, decided to create a house in the traditional architectural manner of the region. 


The house consist of two levels housing 3 rooms, 2 toilets, a pantry and a bathroom. It can accommodated a total of 7 people at any one time. The cost is relatively affordable and reduces per pax as the number of guest increase.


The performance is scheduled twice a day at dawn and at dusk. The timings change according to each season.


Colors of pink, purple, blue, green, and yellow light the interiors of the main tatami-covered communal space and cast the viewer’s gaze upwards towards the open sky.


"Tunnel of Light" in Kiyotsu Gorge is a permanent exhibition by Ma Yansong / MAD Architects. It is closed in winter due to heavy snowfall. 


Photography: Bryan Teo

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