Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Poetics of Japanese Gardens

For the next two days, you have the opportunity to view the special exhibition, I Am Content with What I Lack: The Poetics of Japanese Gardens at 4411 Montrose Blvd. The exhibition features the work of three Houston artists Terry Hagiwara, Mari Omori, and Masaru Takiguchi and was designed by Houston landscape architect Keiji Asakura 

Entrance to "I Am Content with What I Lack: The Poetics of Japanese Gardens" 
Upon entering the space, you are at once aware of the smell of moss and the slight rustle of air against paper.  The attention to detail is extraordinary; a visitor will carefully follow "stone paths" of various shapes and sizes through paper shrouded rooms. Images of fields, forests, and stones are located at the bottom of the paper scrolls so the viewer's eyes will stay focused on the ground and each careful step. There is an anticipation as you walk around each space teased by glimpses of what lays ahead. 

Read a full description of the exhibition here . 

I Am Content with What I Lack: The Poetics of Japanese Gardens was curated by Christine Starkman, curator of Asian art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and was made possible by the generous support of the Japan America Society of Houston (JASH). 

Salt is placed by the entrance of Japanese homes to purify those as they enter 

Mari Omori, akari/paper lantern, 2009, Mino washi paper, archival paste, metal and lighting fixture

A view into the first large space

Notice the careful placement of stones,  the wave like patterns of the moss, and the images at the bottom of the scrolls

Glimpses into the connected spaces

The first view of the rock garden

Masaru Takiguchi, Night Ocean, 1995, Brazilian black granite

The rock garden has two benches for visitors to enjoy a few minutes of reflection 

Hanging paper of hidden scenes 

Japanese Illustrated Books on loan from a private collection

My photo doesn't capture the beauty of these bowls;  Terry Hagiwara, Tea Bowls, 2005-present, Stoneware with glaze

Careful steps and contemplation
You have two days to see this stunning exhibition. Although I wish it could exist as a permanent installation, there is beauty too in its transience.

Exhibition hours:
Friday and Saturday 11:30am- 5:30pm  --- Admission is free 

While you're in the building, be sure to also visit Katja Loher's brilliant exhibition Where Does Time Begin? across the hall at Anya Tish Gallery.

Keep exploring!
The Bayou Botanist

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