For the last five years McCahon House Trust and the Fukutake family have been exploring the possibility of a New Zealand artist residency and participation in the prestigious Setouchi Triennale. Together with founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation, and with funds raised by McCahon House Tommorow patrons and Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa, we are thrilled to announce a new month-long residency opportunity for a New Zealand artist in Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan to coincide with the Setouchi Triennale 2025.

As the project develops, we will continue to update this page. 

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Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan

"Benesse Art Site Naoshima" is the collective name for all art-related activities conducted by Benesse Holdings, Inc. and Fukutake Foundation on the islands of Naoshima and Teshima in Kagawa Prefecture and on Inujima island in Okayama Prefecture. Their fundamental aim is to create significant spaces by bringing contemporary art and architecture in resonance with the pristine nature of the Seto Inland Sea, a landscape with a rich cultural and historical fabric. Through contacts with art and nature, sceneries and inhabitants of the Seto Inland Sea region, they seek to inspire visitors to reflect on the meaning of Benesse's motto - Well-Being. In all their ongoing activities, they are committed to fostering a relationship of mutual growth between art and the region, aiming to make a positive contribution to the local communities.

Setouchi Triennale 

An internationally regarded contemporary art event in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea with typically over 150 artists participating and attracting 1.2 million visitors throughout the 9 months of its duration. The Seto Inland Sea has been a vital transportation route since ancient times. Ships plying its waters stopped at different islands where their crew passed along the latest cultural and lifestyle trends. The distinctive local cultures that emerged through such interactions can still be found today.
The islands’ unique identities, however, are being eroded by the shrinking and aging of their populations and the region’s diminishing vitality which have accompanied the acceleration of globalization, optimization and homogenization. Through the Setouchi Triennale, we aim to revitalize island communities that once thrived within the spectacular setting of the Seto Inland Sea, a nexus of trade and cultural exchange, and transform this region into a Sea of Hope for the world.

Setouchi Triennale Executive Committee President: Toyohito Ikeda (Governor of Kagawa Prefecture), General Producer: Soichiro Fukutake (Honourable Chairman of the Board, Fukutake Foundation), General Director: Fram Kitagawa (Art Director)

STILL is a community of businesses, projects and social enterprises based in Aotearoa New Zealand, that espouses a unique worldview focused on the development of art, culture and nature. The Fukutake family have lived in Aotearoa New Zealand since 2009. As founders and guardians of the Benesse Art Site Naoshima, they are pleased to be able to facilitate connections between Japan and New Zealand.

“In my work in both Japan and New Zealand I am looking to develop projects that can endure for centuries, and have a strong heritage and reputation that future generations can be proud of. There are a lot of shared values between Japan and New Zealand and I am pleased we can develop new arts projects and relationships between the two countries I consider home”, says Hideaki Fukutake, Chief Executive STILL, Chair Fukutake Foundation and Director Benesse Holdings.

Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono is New Zealand’s leading authority on Asia. They provide experiences and resources to help New Zealanders build their knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive in Asia. The Foundation’s activities cover more than 20 countries in Asia and are delivered through nine core programmes: arts, business, education, entrepreneurship, leadership, media, research, Track II diplomacy and sports.   

The Foundation's arts programme aims to bring Asia into the mainstream of New Zealand arts by inspiring New Zealand arts professionals to grow their connections and knowledge of Asia. They help New Zealanders build their knowledge of Asia through partnerships with influential individuals and organisations in both New Zealand and Asia, offering opportunities for international collaborations and professional development.  

“Forming long-term partnerships with first class practitioners means we can develop really substantial opportunities for New Zealand artists to participate in projects and form new networks in Asia,” says Craig Cooper, Director Arts at Asia New Zealand Foundation.  

The Tomorrow Group
McCahon House are partnering with the Tomorrow Group to ensure the successful delivery of the Benesse Art Site Naoshima residency.

The Tomorrow Group are our patrons that support McCahon House Trust’s special projects and to learn more about membership and associated benefits, please contact us at mccahon@mccahonhouse.org.nz. 

Please continue to check this page as it will be updated as the project develops.