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My Visit to Pola Museum Of Art in Hakone

Reverberations that resound through a forest of art



I am often mindful of my proximity to pure nature as I just reached the level to get along with urban solitude. I am a nostalgic living presence. A deep forest may trigger my fear of unknown darkness, while an urban museum could miss out on a subdued touch. But when art encounters nature, time becomes tranquil and dignified. When art is melting into nature, I once again, in the Pola Museum, experienced that idea status of 'being' physically, emotionally, and creatively. Pola Museum, A museum with contemporary cool was designed to blend into a national park just hit my aesthetic core instantly, underneath the facade, its thoughtfully and immaculately curated art collection and exhibition convey the power of art, soothing every coming visitors’ soul and body. I indeed, echo with ‘ its reverberations that resound through a forest of art.


The use of natural materials ( glass, concrete, wood., ) turns Pola Museum into a soft and vibrant container, bringing a sense of energy and transparency. The museum is enveloped in natural lighting and greenery, which I consider is the best greeting to its visitors. Descending through the elevator to the café located on the second floor of the building, I had my morning coffee on that day facing a sublime view of Mt.Kozuka through the massive glass window. It’s Such a refreshing calling from nature to start my art exploration here.


The Exhibition space was designed to be navigation free – just follow your inner instincts to search for your connection with art. the exhibition-themed interior visions appeals to me at first. It didn’t catch me by surprise to see that home as a motif hit many artist’s cores, evoking deeper emotional reflection and forward thinking particularly coming out of the pandemic ( I also checked an Exhibition themed Dreamhome where worldwide artists shared their Stories and dreams of home in Sydney’s Art Gallery )

We are experiencing a transitional period where the world entering into the unknown and individuals seek to reconcile with uncertainty. This exhibition features the expression of interior space by artists from the 19th century to the present day. Home or more specifically rooms carries paradox. a room, as a confined and closed space, brings us a sense of security and serenity but may also lead to feelings of isolation and alienation.

Interior design fills a void space with a sense of style and belonging, which inspires and empowers us to link indoor and outdoors, to connect outside and inside. Our headspace finally gets unwind in the aesthetically curated room that is an expression and extension of our identity. It’s quite fascinating when attaining a better state of mind among material objects. As I grow my awareness and sensibility in the interior design, I gradually related to its story-telling through interior objects, repeated everyday routines and activities, natural lighting, and casting shadows flowing between indoors and outdoors.



The installation ‘bed-dots obsession ‘ produced by Kusama Yayoi challenged traditional sense of ‘bed’ as a place for the rest of body and mind, showcasing the bizarre polar opposite: a is replete with protrusions. The red polka-dot patterned white fabric that covers the bed is replete with protrusions.



By manipulating the scale of familiar objects and landscape, Twins artist duo Takada Akiko & Masako creates an intricate installation featuring universal elements of a room ( doors, windows, keys.,), which embodies progression from closure under Covid lockdowns to later release and new boundaries between public and private emerged from the Covid pandemic.




Another exhibition that melting me heart is Kicking the Water: Sengokuhara by Naofumi Maruyama. Maruyama was inspired by the ever-changing nature of water. He said: kicking the water, its surface starts to ripple, and the two worlds blend together. We are standing where those two meet, and then a painting comes to life. It’s such a poetic source of his creation but also reveals his confrontation with the uncertainty facing humankind that resembles water’s unsteady nature. He also approached unique working techniques known as staining which involves laying a piece of cotton cloth on the floor, soaking it with water, and painting images onto the water. His use of water as a medium for spreading and blurring is ideal for depicting the softly hazy forest of Sengokuhara.



Maruyama believes the world we are living in is shrouded with invisible veils. Maruyama’s close friend, the architect Jun Aoki comprehended and captured the essence of Maruyama’s art aesthetic and philosophy. He designed the exhibition venue wall made of fine veils that evoke the surface of shimmering water. As a result, the exhibition venue is enveloped in a thin luminous veil. Aoki said his task is to generate the air that mediated between the chaos of Sengokuhara outside and the serene brilliance of Maruyama’s painting hung inside. You truly have to be in that physical space to experience that serene brilliance which has become a profound and divine moment of my status of ‘being’. The choice and application of water into Maruyama’s painting embodis his awareness of perils that pervade our world .We feel slight anxiety as if we are walking on water and being exposed to an unknown world. But I feel that inner serenity prevails over outside chaos. I guess properly I am an innately optimistic and inherently joyful person which fundamentally shapes my faith and belief in humanity.





At the very end, I did a nature trail, a walk through nature and art outside the museum. It was a bit rainy on that day but such a luxury time to immerse myself to the extension of art displayed in the deep hakone forest. The forest is just another gallery. I got to enjoy the sculptures in many forms and encountered a wealth of nature and species along the way. This expansive viewing area is enveloped in a dignified atmosphere!

Pola Museum just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022. They have established a new vision for the year 2032. I am so strongly connected to its new vision and mission on a personal and authentic level, and feel compelled to share with everyone. Pola Museum endeavors to become an inspirational museum in the next decade. It strives to create a space to inspire its visitors to pursue a more fulfilling life while attaining a greater emotional depth and sense of awareness. Today, the world is entering an unprecedented transitional phase. The joys and emotions triggered by art are certain to provide us with the courage and power to forge into the unknown. And the resonance between art, nature, architecture, and people promises to generate new narratives.

Tracing back to my home project in 2022, I began to vaguely sense that Interior design will offer me a new perspective and lens to restructure the physical space, reframe the way of thinking, and reconnect time and space, I see music, life, and flow in architecture and I am so obsessed with that feeling. Entering in 2023, I intentionally nature my relationship with museums, architecture, interior design, and nature, because I experienced that moment of the ideal 'being', physically, emotionally, and even creatively through the connection of all those elements. I did not lost sight of big perspectives or being falsely optimistic here, and I am aware pandemic we are facing in the contemporary age is not just a physical crisis of illness but also a mental crisis. I listened to A ted talk presented in Mori art museum Tokyo this time. An architect said we are facing a pandemic of boringness and dullness, but good architecture can help turn this around, and I totally agree!

I know I can only physically be here in this museum, Pola Museum temporarily, but a mind stretched by this new experience will never go back to its old dimensions. I consider that is the hope and joy generated by art that translated into my power and strengths to counterbalance world uncertainty and personal turmoil.


In the end, I want to share a saying tha strcuk me depply when I visited Ghibili Museum in Mitaka:

この世界ではすべてが動いており、人間もずっと動いている。

Our world is always moving. We human is always moving.


Show Notes

Hi, everyone, welcome to my podcast Jing Lens. Today, I feel compelled to reminisce time and space I experienced in the Pola Museum of Art in Hakone. I am often mindful of my proximity to pure nature as I just reached the level to get along with urban solitude. I am an nostalgic living presence. A deep forest may trigger my fear of unknown darkness, and an urban museum could miss out on a subdued touch. But when art encounters nature, time becomes tranquil and dignified. When art is melting into nature, I once again, in the Pola Museum, experienced that idea status of 'being', physically, emotionally, and creatively. Pola Museum, A museum with contemporary cool was designed to blend into a national park just hit my aesthetic core instantly. Underneath the facade, its thoughtfully and immaculately curated art collection and exhibition convey the power of art, soothing every coming visitors’ soul and body. I indeed, echo with ‘ its reverberations that resound through a forest of art. ‘

The use of natural materials ( glass, concrete, wood ) turns Pola Museum into a soft and vibrant container, bringing a sense of energy and transparency. The museum is enveloped in natural lighting and greenery, which I consider is the best greeting to its visitors. Descending through the elevator to the café located on the second floor of the building, I had my morning coffee on that day facing a sublime view of Mt.Kozuka through the massive glass window. It’s Such a refreshing calling from nature to start my art exploration here.

The Exhibition space was designed to be navigation free – just follow your inner instincts to search for your connection with art. the exhibition-themed 'interior visions' appeals to me at first. It didn’t catch me by surprise to see that home as a motif hit many artist’s cores, evoking deeper emotional reflection and forward thinking particularly coming out of the pandemic ( I also checked an Exhibition themed 'Dreamhome' where worldwide artists shared their Stories and dreams of home in Sydney’s Art Gallery ).

We are experiencing a transitional period where the world is entering into the unknown and individuals seek to reconcile with uncertainty. This exhibition features the expression of interior space by artists from the 19th century to the present day. Home or more specifically rooms carry paradox. A room, as a confined and closed space, brings us a sense of security and serenity but may also lead to feelings of isolation and alienation. Interior design fills a void space with a sense of style and belonging, which inspires and empowers us to link indoor and outdoors, to connect outside and inside. Our headspace finally gets unwind in the aesthetically curated room that is an expression and extension of our identity. It’s quite fascinating when attaining a better state of mind among material objects. As I grow my awareness and sensibility in the interior design, I gradually related to its story-telling through interior objects, repeated everyday routines and activities, natural lighting, and casting shadows flowing between indoors and outdoors. Artists from ancient times to today

captured daily scene and characters in their work through their intimate gaze and lens on everyday life, providing us with a new perspective to re-exam our experience and expectation associated with rooms. Palpable intimacy depicted between the space of room and characters remains consistent and also evolving. Our rooms inherit common humanity and shared experience, hence causing resonance and intimacy. The interior design transformed our sense of daily life. Resonance that transcends time and space to reach today’s people does soothe us to some extent when moving towards the new age and going through personal turmoil. Fast forward to the present day, our awareness of the space of the room is further heightened by covid pandemic. The installation work themed ‘bed-dots obsession ‘ produced by Kusama yayoi challenged traditional notion of ‘bed’ as a place for the rest of body and mind, showcasing the bizarre polar opposite: The red polka-dot patterned white fabric that covers the bed is replete with protrusions. We also have contemporary artist like Wolfgang Tillmans(1968- )who is pioneering new expression in photography. He continues to be at the forefront of photography, ever-expanding new possibilities of the medium. His Photography captured the reality of time, depicting an urban and studio lifestyle we are increasingly familiar with.

By manipulating the scale of familiar objects and landscape, Twins artist duo Takada Akiko & Masako creates an intricate installation featuring universal elements of a room ( doors, windows, keys ., ) embodies progression from closure under Covid lockdowns to later release, and new boundaries between public and private emerged from the Covid pandemic. A sense of entrapment brought on by the Covid pandemic further stimulated artists’ desire for nature and gardens. Another artist duo Sato Midori and Moriyama Yuichiro depict interior rooms and their extension to the outdoor garden featuring vivid color and Parisian aesthetic. Pandemic prompts us to reflect on our relationship with interior spaces and reframes our way of thinking about the intricate connection between our state of mind and physical space. Artists infuse hope and joy into their Interior vision from the past to the present day. I believe it’s that common human strengths enables us to go through endless hurdles and battles.


Another exhibition that melting me heart is Kicking the Water: Sengokuhara by

Naofumi Maruyama. Maruyama was inspired by the ever-changing nature of water. He said: kicking the water, its surface starts to ripple, and the two worlds blend together. We are standing where those two meet, and then a painting comes to life. It’s such a poetic source of his creation but also reveals his confrontation with the uncertainty facing humankind that resembles water’s unsteady nature. He also approached unique working techniques known as staining which involves laying a piece of cotton cloth on the floor, soaking it with water, and painting images onto the water. His use of water as a medium for spreading and blurring is ideal for depicting the softly hazy forest of Sengokuhara. He believes the world we are living in is shrouded with invisible veils. Maruyama’s close friend, the architect Jun Aoki comprehended and captured the essence of Maruyama’s art aesthetic and philosophy. He designed the exhibition venue wall made of fine veils that evoke the surface of shimmering water. As a result, the exhibition venue is enveloped in a thin luminous veil. Aoki said his task is to generate the air that mediated between the chaos of Sengokuhara outside, and the serene brilliance of Maruyama’s painting hung inside. You truly have to be in that physical space to experience that serene brilliance which has become a profound and divine moment of my status of ‘being’. The choice and application of water into Maruyama’s painting embody his awareness of perils that pervade our world ( I guess we have never been so universally related to that our life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye in the wake of a pandemic.) We may feel slight anxiety as if we are walking on water and being exposed to an unknown world. But I feel that inner serenity prevails over outside chaos. I guess properly I am an inherently optimistic and joyful person which fundamentally shapes my faith and belief in humanity.

Other exhibitions in Pola include masterpieces of impressionists, Gerhard Richter’s collection, Resisting Modernization: Surrealism and the École de Paris. They are all eye feast in visual and thought-provoking at core.

At the very end, I did a nature trail, a walk through nature and art outside the museum.

It was a bit rainy on that day but such a luxury time to immerse myself to the extension of art displayed in the deep Hakone forest. The forest is just another gallery. I got enjoy the sculptures in many forms and encountered a wealth of nature and species along the way. This expansive viewing area is enveloped in a dignified atmosphere!


Pola Museum just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022. They have established a new vision for the year 2032. I am so strongly connected to its new vision and mission on a personal and authentic level, and feel compelled to share with everyone. Pola Museum endeavors to become an inspirational museum in the next decade. It strives to create a space to inspire its visitors to pursue a more fulfilling life while attaining a greater emotional depth and sense of awareness. Today, the world is entering an unprecedented transitional phase. The joys and emotions triggered by art are certain to provide us with the courage and power to forge into the unknown. And the resonance between art, nature, architecture, and people promises to generate new narratives.

Tracing back to my home project in 2022, I began to vaguely sense that Interior design will offer me a new perspective and lens to restructure the physical space, reframe the way of thinking, and reconnect time and space. I see music, life, and flow in architecture and I am so obsessed with that feeling. Entering in 2023, I intentionally nurture my relationship with museums, architecture, interior design, and nature, because I experienced that moment of the ideal 'being', physically, emotionally, and creatively through the connection of all those elements. I did not lost sight of big perspectives or being falsely optimistic here, and I am aware pandemic we are facing, in the contemporary age, is not just a physical crisis of illness but also a mental crisis. I listened to a ted talk presented in Mori Art Museum Tokyo this time. An architect said we are facing a pandemic of boringness and dullness, but good architecture can help turn this around, and I totally agree!

I know I can only physically be here in this museum, Pola Museum temporarily, but a mind stretched by this new experience will never go back to its old dimensions. I consider that as the hope and joy generated by art that translated into my power and strengths to counterbalance the world uncertainty and personal turmoil.

Thank you for listening to my podcast, see you next time.





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