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A Look Ahead to 2024 Art Exhibitions at Portland Japanese Garden

A photo of kintsugi by artist Naoro Fukumaru.
Kintsugi by artist Naoko Fukumaru. Photo by Naoko Fukumaru.

As Aki Nakanishi, the Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, and Education has explained, upon visiting Portland Japanese Garden in April, the current Japanese Ambassador to the U.S., Koji Tomita, remarked how it is “…truly an unparalleled example of Japanese landscape art.” Traditionally, the role of Japanese gardens is to offer a place of quiet contemplation detached from the noise of modern society. But at the same time, Japanese gardens have always embraced, if not strived for a sense of symbiosis created at the intersection of architecture, art, and nature, which demonstrates the balance that can be achieved when nature and human ingenuity converge.

In 2024, Portland Japanese Garden’s exhibitions will focus on the wealth of Japanese culture collected by our community close to home as well as Portland’s sister-city relationship with Sapporo, Japan all set within the peaceful and carefully curated landscape of the Garden. Mark your calendars as we share a preview of what to expect in the upcoming year.

Vision of Place featuring the exhibits “Shashin: Photographic Frontiers of Hokkaido” & “Quiet Reflections of Hokkaido Winter: Photography by Sandra Chandler” | March 16 – June 10, 2024

Cherry Blossom Season at Hakodate Goryokaku Castle ruins” 2022, Hisao Asano

Celebrating 65 years of the Portland and Sapporo Sister City relationship, the Pavilion Gallery will welcome the work of Hokkaido-based photographers who have captured stunning visuals of their home to share with the people of Oregon.

A photograph of Hokkaido in winter by Sandra Chandler.
“Winterview” February 2023. Lake Kussharo, Teshikaga, Kawakami-Gun-Koshimizu. Photo by Sandra Chandler.

We are also thrilled to feature a selection of photography by Sandra Chandler throughout the Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center in celebration of Oregon’s cultural ties with the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido. Chandler has traveled the world using her designer’s eye to explore minimalist compositions artfully captured from nature. This exhibition will showcase the essence of the beautiful winter landscape of Japan’s northernmost island, a part of the world renowned for its flora and wildlife.

Kintsugi Art Exhibition | September – December 2024

A photo of kintsugi by artist Naoro Fukumaru.
Kintsugi by artist Naoko Fukumaru. Photo by Naoko Fukumaru.

Kintsugi, the 500-year-old Japanese method of repairing broken ceramics, has captured the world’s attention in its elegant acceptance of cracks. Using lacquer and gold, 金 kin, to rejoin fractured pieces, kintsugi objects remind us to acknowledge how impermanence and imperfection go hand-in-hand with the beauty of rebuilding and repairing. This exhibition featuring the work of Naoko Fukumaru will highlight how this artform has transformed over time to become a powerful metaphor for growing stronger and more resilient through healing.

Portland Japanese Garden receives support from the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the State of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts.