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WE ARE making [RE]newed contact with Japanese culture. Once we have

understood one form, we may readily appreciate a.n.other. In appropriating

different elements of Japanese culture, the Japanese garden prepares us

for an examination of other arts and practices.

Japanese aesthetics, the fine-tuning of taste, the development of

connoisseurship through the appreciation of beauty, came later than the

proto-gardens of the pre-Shinto era, but the transition from divine nature

to art was relatively seamless. And yet, the revisualisation of nature that

takes place through the filtration of art in the Japanese garden is often

quite different from what we are accustomed to. Disarmed, for example,

by THE vision of compositions purporting to be landscape works but made

entirely of stone and gravel, we are forced to reconsider the place of nature

in the garden, where appearances can be deceptive.

The painter David Hockney, whose photomontages of the Ryoanji garden

in Kyoto are playful [RE]interpretations of TIME and SPACE, recognised

this when he wrote: “SURFACE IS AN ILLUSION, BUT SO IS DEPTH.


                                      Stephen Mansfield - Japan's Master Gardens

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Comment by Michael Grove on January 5, 2019 at 11:30

I well remember my meeting with David Hockney at the V&A,

when Canon invited him to demonstrate his artistic skills,

utilising our DiceNET Colour Server System driving the recently

launched CLC500 Colour Photocopier & Image Processing Unit,

whose colour photocopying engine had been designed by Louise

Detremont and her team.

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