As a work of art in its own right, the Portland Japanese Garden is also a natural vehicle through which to explore Japanese art and design.
Beginning in 2008, the annual series of Art in the Garden exhibitions has featured the work of more than 40 artists. Most have come from Japan, but the series has also presented the work of American artists inspired by Japanese aesthetics, traditions, or materials. These varied exhibitions have introduced the work of both internationally-renowned artists and master craftsmen in the Pavilion Gallery and Tanabe Gallery.
Art in the Garden explores ideas and aesthetics integral to the fabric of life in Japan. By looking outside Western notions of fine art vs craft, the work chosen for exhibition aims instead to define the spirit of this complex culture and to reflect, whenever possible, the beauty of nature and the Garden itself.
In 2019, we celebrate the 60-year sister city relationship with Sapporo as The Year of Hokkaido. In February we open Ice & Stone in an exhibition that juxtaposes suiseki viewing stones with the Hokkaido photography of Michael Kenna. April will bring Northern Lights and a chance to revisit exquisite ceramics from Hokkaido artists featured in our galleries 10 years ago. In June, Forest of Dreams will bring together works of indigenous artists of Hokkaido and the Pacific Northwest. October brings the multidisciplinary works of Noritaka Tatehana, exploring contemporary Japanese fashion and craftsmanship.
Throughout 2019, explore the art and culture of Japan’s northern island throughout the year in our Art in the Garden exhibitions.