Friday, September 05, 2008

I'm told

that Japanese gardens were once called shima (島), a word that means "island," rather than the common word used for "garden" today.

Portland's Japanese Garden. You can view the webgallery here.

Languages change and spread, as if commanded to frustrate their physical containers—on the atlas and in our clumsy vocal cords. Fortunately, translations are still possible.

Try typing "japanese garden" into Google: Portland is actually the top hit. Although firmly locked within the continental US, the landscaping is faithful to the wabi-sabi aesthetic originated over on "that island."

Things I like:
1. This rock garden
2. This lion statue, also known as Mr. Grumpy
3. This contemporary sculpture by Jun Kaneko.
Context changes everything. Though these ordinary, Crayola hues usually put me to sleep, the contrast of bright-pastel-on-earth makes for a surprising seamlessness between old and new. The glass is just a little translucent.

Can we have more art outside?

1 comment:

kamagra said...

this is the typical Asian garden right? is one of my favorites, is so natural and classic, maybe some day I could make this in my own house.