Hidden in the valleys of landlocked Gifu Prefecture sits what can only be described as a marriage of Alice’s wonderland and modern architecture. It’s the Site of Reversible Destiny, a massive art installation park perfect for the offbeat traveler. The installation is a culmination of 30 years of collaborative work between artist/architect duo Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins. Grab a helmet at the entrance and get lost.
Arakawa and Gins sought to challenge the human body’s “physical and spiritual orientation to the world and instead of being fearful of losing balance, [visitors should] look forward to it.” By disturbing the viewer’s understanding of physics and material reality, the artists hope to free people from the inertia of routine and help them return to the exploratory state of childhood.
Down the rabbit hole
Start your journey at The Reversible Destiny Office, a cotton-candy daydream of a maze where the ceiling mirrors the floor, and the line between up and down is blurred beyond recognition. The floor rises and dips throughout the maze, with some sections engulfing visitors and others barely reaching waist-level. Think that’s intense? That’s only just the beginning.
Clamber up Exactitude Ridge (be careful not to lose your balance) to reach the main pavilion of the park, The Critical Resemblance House. Its roof is shaped like Gifu Prefecture and it houses a winding maze where visitors will encounter furniture jutting out from walls, missing ceilings, dead ends, and precarious climbs.
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