Bontei Tray Gardens Featured in Art in the Garden Winter Exhibition

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Exhibition

Nov 20097 Nov 200922

Portland Japanese Garden
above Washington Park 611 SW Kingston Drive
Portland, Oregon, 97205
United States

In Japanese bontei means tray garden. There are many traditions in East Asia of presenting stones and plants on trays or in ceramic pots. In Japan, there are four traditions, all which express the beauty and rhythms of nature in highly abstracted form, capturing the sense of reflection one feels in wild nature in the space of a tray. The Portland Japanese Garden continues its Art in the Garden series with a special exhibition of The Bontei Tray Gardens of Marc Peter Keane , featuring exquisitely designed, handcrafted wood and stone tray gardens by one of the world's leading experts on Japanese gardens. The word bontei is an old term, not found in most modern dictionaries, but it suits Keane's new creations perfectly, as they begin within that tradition but broaden the scope to include new materials and philosophies the way modern gardens do.

The idea of making tray gardens came a after Keane's returned from Japan to the US. Based on models and drawings of experimental gardens-things he had been imagining but hadn't found a way to create over the years-he found that his bontei designs were often abstract or in some ways more fanciful than the actual gardens he built. "I realized somewhere along the way that what I was doing was capturing certain qualities distilled out of gardens-movements, textures or philosophies-and placing them on trays, like offerings, for quiet contemplation," commented Keane, a graduate of Cornell University's department of landscape architecture. "In a garden there is a stillness or a motion, a sense of time or one of timelessness, a certain color, texture.... a balance of parts. These are the things I try to capture in my bontei ."

Keane is best known as the author of Japanese Garden Design , one of the most popular books on this topic in the English language. He will be in Portland for the opening weekend of the exhibition on November 7 and 8. On Saturday, November 7, Keane will give a Gallery Talk on his Bontei at an Opening Reception at 4:30pm (members $25/non-members $35, reservations required at 503-542-0280). Sunday, November 8 at 4:30pm, Keane will lecture on Japanese tea gardens-in  conjunction with the debut of his soon-to-be-released book on this subject-as well as sign books (members $25/non-members $35, reservations required at 503-542-0280).

As a writer, Keane's work includes a variety of styles and venues, including Japanese Garden Design (which explains Japanese gardens in terms of their cultural background and inherent design), a translation of the Sakuteiki (Japan's thousand-year-old gardening treatise), and numerous articles and essays related to Japanese gardens and preservation in Kyoto.

The Portland Japanese Garden has been proclaimed by his Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga, former Ambassador to Japan, to be "the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan." The Garden is above Washington Park at 611 SW Kingston Drive in SW Portland, Oregon. The Garden is open daily except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. Hours are 10am-4pm October 1-March 31, and 10am-7pm April 1-September 30.

Learn more at www.japanesegarden.com .

 

Oregon_Nikkei . Atualizado em Jul 09 2010 12:13 p.m.


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