Located in Brumadinho, an hour or so drive from Belo Horizonte, Instituto Inhotim is one of the most incredible and surreally beautiful contemporary art spaces in the world.
Francois Correia is a travel blogger and frequent contributor for Cultura Colectiva. If you also wish to see your content featured in our website, click here to send a 400-word article for the chance to appear in our website.
There are moments in one’s travels that are truly unforgettable and unexpected: experiencing Inhotim will be one of those moments.
Located in Brumadinho, an hour or so driving from Belo Horizonte, the capital of the State of Minas Gerais, Instituto Inhotim is one of the most incredible and surreally beautiful contemporary art spaces in the world. Minas Gerais’ countryside, well known for its charming culture and history, is the backdrop of a journey through rain forests, exotic plants, and the Brazilian open spaces and blue skies.
Brazil has a joy of living like no other place – art and cultural expressions rich of the county's diverse background.
One can also ask: how on earth was Instituto Inhotim created? Only in Brazil, a country of superlatives, would an entrepreneur envision and conceive an open-air contemporary art museum where the works and nature have equal importance – creating a unique symbiosis.
Brazilian entrepreneur Bernardo Paz, a man with a vision like no other, conceived Inhotim – a space that hosts not only contemporary art exhibitions, but also an enchanting botanical garden. The space was structured to guarantee a unique experience, breaking away from the conventional ways of visiting a museum, merging the works of art with nature in a form of environmental circuits, allowing the visitor a sensorial experience: the sounds of water, birds, wind, and the trees are not only part of the environment, but carefully curated into works of art.
With 42 hectares of gardens, which display over 400 species, and 254 hectares of forests, part of the Natural Heritage Private Reserve, there is a strong commitment to conservation and biodiversity, with educational programs and collaborations abound. The gardens are a luxuriantly integrated with the landscape: pathways, stairways, patios and natural quartz rock formations connect to lakes, art installations, and galleries.
Explore the 23 pavilions and discover the works of art of world-renowned and Brazilian artists like Hélio Oiticica & Neville d’Almeida, Ligia Pape, and Tunga.
Other renowned artists include Janet Cardiff & George Miller, Cristine Iglesias and her sculptural ‘Vegetation Room’ – a mirrored labyrinth in the forest - and Japanese Yayoi Kusama with her wonderful floating polka dots beautifully displayed on ponds at the museum.
Highlights include Doug Aitken's ‘Sonic Pavilion’, a site-specific work where the audience can experience the sounds of earth captured via microphones and sophisticated sound system that plays it in real time and the exuberant work of Adriana Varejão, a Brazilian artist who weaves together the disciples of photography, painting, and sculpture. Her work on tiles is magnificent, contemplatively displayed in one of the most architecturally striking pavilions of Inhotim.
The museum also affords beautiful restaurants set in extraordinary surroundings, a seasonal program of performances and events and wonderful design stores.
Once you enter Inhotim, you feel like falling into a trance, an "Alice in Wonderland" kind of experience, often surreal, creatively alive - a sort of hide-and-seek game amongst the wonderful spaces envisioned by the master dreamer Mr. Paz.
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