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The German author of Spaces in Translation: Japanese Gardens and the West discusses his provocative and groundbreaking theories that the idea of the Japanese garden has less to do with Japan’s history and traditions than with the country’s interactions with the West. Tagsold, who has researched over eighty Japanese gardens in ten countries, explores their history, popularity, and shifting aesthetic, as well as that most elusive concept — authenticity.

Limited copies of Christian Tagsold’s book Spaces in Translation: Japanese Gardens and the West will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Christian Tagsold is Associate Professor at the Institute for Modern Japanese Studies, University of Düsseldorf. He writes on Japanese garden in the West, sport mega-events in Japan, and Japanese diasporas in Europe. He has been researching Japanese gardens in Europe and the USA since 2006. Spaces in Translation (Penn Press) appeared in August 2017.
This year’s event is not-to-be-missed. Guest speakers will be scholar Botond Bognar, the Edgar A. Tafel Endowed Chair in Architecture at University of Illinois; Balazs Bognar of Kengo Kuma and Associates, and our design ‘dream team’ of Kengo Kuma and Sadafumi Uchiyama.

Garden CEO Steve Bloom will present an annual overview to members. We will be honoring Board President Dorie Vollum and welcoming incoming Board President Robert Zagunis. We will also be recognizing retiring members of our Board of Trustees.

A reception will follow the Annual Meeting.

You’re invited to join us earlier in the afternoon (4:00-5:00pm) as Botond and Balazs Bognar sign copies of their new book: Kengo Kuma: Portland Japanese Garden. Advance copies of the book can be purchased at our Gift Shop (online or on site).

You could say that my aim is ‘to recover the place’. The place is a result of nature and time; this is the most important aspect. Transparency is a characteristic of Japanese architecture; I try to use light and natural materials to get a new kind of transparency. –Kengo Kuma

Balazs and Botond Bognar present a public lecture at the Garden to mark the launch of their new book, Kengo Kuma: Portland Japanese Garden (Rizzoli, 2019). Come join us on the Garden’s beautiful Overlook to hear the story of the creation of the Garden’s Cultural Village and the inspiration it took from Japan’s monzen-machi, the small settlements built in front of gates or shrines. The conversation will touch on the Japanese tradition of dwelling in harmony with nature, the Garden’s evolution into a world-renowned Japanese cultural organization, and the bold vision shared across the Pacific that moved the project forward to fruition. The evening will be a chance to learn firsthand about the elements and features in the Cultural Village and their ancient lineage in Japan, become acquainted with the craftspeople whose work graces the Village, and gain insights into how Kuma and the Garden’s leadership sought to shape the experience of visitors to the Garden for generations to come.

A limited number of copies of Kengo Kuma: Portland Japanese Garden (Rizzoli, 2019) will be available at the event. Advance copies of the book can be ordered from our Gift Shop.