When you're traveling in Belo Horizonte, save a day for aesthetic pleasures and visit a unique contemporary art museum: Instituto Cultural Inhotim.
With several galleries and installations by renowned Brazilian and international artists, Inhotim sprawls over 3,000 acres of preserved native forest and gardens designed according to guidelines set by Burle Marx (1909-1994).
Arguably the world's largest open-air contemporary art museum, Inhotim was created by Bernardo Paz on his private property in the town of Brumadinho, about 60 kilometers from Belo Horizonte.
The institute is involved in the creation of policies for better quality of life in the community, through independent action or partnerships with private or public spheres. Of the 1 million people who have visited this unique place, thousands every year are from nearby low-income areas.
Inhotim's name (pronounced i-ño-TIM) comes from the land's original owner, a foreign miner known as Senhor Tim (or Nhô Tim, in rural expression) .
The Inhotim Art Collection
About 350 artworks by 80 artists are on display at Inhotim. The Brazilian/American/German curatorship regularly adds new creations to the collection, with an international perspective which keeps this gem in the rural Minas Gerais landscape at the forefront of the world's contemporary art scene.
Sensorial experiences at Inhotim cover a wide range of media and an array of site-specific art works on permanent display. In one of the interactive installations - the Texts of Wall by Janet Cardiff, 2001 - you'll be immersed in the recording of a sixteenth-century Thomas Tallis motet as you walk around a room with several speakers. Each voice in the choir was registered individually, making for a superb journey into a world of sound.
At Sonic Pavilion, developed over five years, Doug Aitken invites you to listen to sounds from the depths of the earth. There are galleries for Brazilian artists Lygia Pape, Tunga and Miguel Rio Branco.