ON a chilly night last November on the tiny island of Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea of southern Japan, I found myself alone in a dark concrete gallery, a sweater pulled over my pajamas. I was staying at the Benesse House Museum, a 10-room hotel set inside a contemporary art museum, on the island’s craggy southern coast, and still battling jet lag. So instead of tossing in bed, I visited the deserted galleries of the museum — guests of the hotel are permitted to wander beyond closing time. Before long, I was transfixed by Bruce Nauman’s art installation, “100 Live and Die,” a neon billboard of flashing phrases.