PORTLAND, Ore. —February 4, 2022— Once immensely popular across Japan, netsuke (pronounced nets-keh), small accessories fashioned from wood, ivory, or porcelain, blurred the lines between function and art in their heyday. Fashion and Fantasy will showcase the fascinating world of these miniature Japanese carvings traditionally used to secure small pouches to men’s pocketless kimonos.
The first netsuke were made of small, dried gourds, slender pieces of wood or bamboo sticks. These rudimentary toggles developed into exquisite artistic carvings with the help of a subversive and fashionable mercantile class. Netsuke developed into increasingly intricate, masterfully carved figures that displayed a delightful diversity of materials, styles and themes. Small and inconspicuous, netsuke encapsulated the aesthetic sense of iki, the fashionable, subdued elegance of the urban chic of Edo-period Japan.
Drawing on a recent gift from The Netsuke Collection of James R. Coonan, Denise C. Bates and Lurline C. Menzies, this exhibition presents a glimpse into this little-known art form from pre-modern Japan. Each netsuke is highly detailed, imaginatively depicting people and animals from everyday life as well as folktales and fables.
- Key visual and select images of netsuke (photo credit in file name)
- Photos of Portland Japanese Garden (photo credit in file name)
Info on the Exhibition:
- Opens Saturday, February 12 and runs through April 17, 2022, 9am-3:30pm during Garden hours
- Located in the Pavilion Gallery, which is found shortly after veering left through the Nezu Gate, itself just past the Tateuchi Courtyard.
- Included with Garden admission
- More information about the exhibition can be found here
Hours and Admissions:
- Hours: 10:00am-3:30pm Wednesday – Monday, closed Tuesdays
- Adult Admission: $18.95
- Tickets can be purchased at tickets.japanesegarden.org
Will Lerner | 503-542-9351 | [email protected]
Han Oh | 503-542-9310| [email protected]
Portland Japanese Garden is a nonprofit organization originally founded in 1963 as a place for cross-cultural understanding following World War II. A hallmark in the City of Portland, the Garden was founded on the ideals of peace and mutual understanding between peoples and cultures. Portland Japanese Garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and the foremost Japanese cultural organization in North America.