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.
2018 Art in the Garden Exhibitions
Previous Art in the Garden Exhibitions
- Hosokawa Morihiro: The Art of Life, a Rebirth in Clay
- Kabuki: A Revolution in Color and Design
- Mirrors of the Mind: The Noh Masks of Ohtsuki Kokun
- Tsunagu: Connecting to the Architecture of Kengo Kuma
- American Bonsai: The Unbridled Art of Ryan Neil
- Bending Nature: Four Bamboo Artists in the Garden
- Ray Morimura: Prints for All Seasons
- Urushi: Masterpieces of Lacquerware by Kazumi Murose, Living National Treasure of Japan
- 50 Prints and Paintings: Toko Shinoda at 100
- Isamu Noguchi: We Are the Landscape of All We Know
- Fukami: A Distant View, The Porcelain Sculpture of Sueharu Fukami with Photographs by Jean Vollum
- Meditative Moments: The Tea Ceramics of Richard Milgrim and the Paintings of Hiroshi Senju
- Threads of Hope: Art as Social Practice in the Textile Work of Hiroshi Saito
- Bamboo Art: Meditation & Transformation
- Katsura Imperial Villa: The Photographs of Ishimoto Yasuhiro
- Come Back Koi!
- Urban Green: Small Trees for Small Spaces, Keshiki Bonsai by Kenji Kobayashi of Sinajina, Tokyo
- Mottainai: The Fabric of Life, Lessons in Frugality from Traditional Japan
- Deloss Webber: Small Blessings in Bamboo and Stone
- From Damsels to Demons: The Hidden Art of Netsuke Carving
- Shihoko Fukumoto: Indigo is the Color of My Dreams
- Parallel Worlds: Art of the Ainu of Hokkaido and Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest
- The Bontei Tray Gardens of Marc Peter Keane