Sometimes we do not have to go very far to discover the wonders of Asian Art. The next time you are on vacation in France, do not miss the Asian Arts Museum in Nice – it is worth it! The impressions of our special envoy…
Set among the scents and greenery, the Asian Art Museum is built on the lake in a park, giving the illusion of floating on water. The project was commissioned to the famous Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, and the building was intended to be a museum, a place of meetings and exchanges between Asian arts and Western culture.
The architectural aesthetics of the museum is based on the contrast of full shapes and transparent walls. The four cubes evoke two mother civilizations, China and India, and transmission to Japan and Southeast Asia. On the first floor a rotunda crowned by a glass pyramid is reserved for the spiritual sphere of Buddhism.
“In my mind, this museum is a shining snow-white jewel in the azure of the Mediterranean. It is a swan floating on a peaceful lake in the middle of the lush vegetation …”, says Kenzo Tange.
Indeed, taking as starting point its antique collections, the museum insists on continuity of traditions and expertise in Asia. Based on a selection of iconic works evoking the spirit of Asian cultures, blending court arts and popular or tribal expressions, museum collections reconcile the genres traditionally split between museums of history, ethnography and decorative arts, while presenting also some contemporary creations.
At the heart of the collections, you will find as well live arts performances, demonstrations of Asian Gestures and weekly tea ceremonies, which prolong and delight a tour of this serene place.