the art of gardening

Diary 2008.9.26



Our kitchen window in Shimobun is right next to our neighbours vegetable garden. I can see her every morning weeding between her beans and salads. She is in her own world, looking at the plants sprouting from the earth.
At home I have  a garden too and the whole year round we eat the vegetables that grow there. I love to sit with bare legs and feet in the sand and do my daily weeding between the cabbages, beetroots and salad. The repetitive act allows the mind to come to peace, and thus opens my eyes to the tiny things that surround us, the plants that feed us, the bugs that love the same plants as we do.


For me gardening bears great similarity to creating art work. There is the growing process. There is always the interesting  and subtle tension between the will to control the  and the ability to let go and see where the flow leads to.  There is the presence of the smallest and the biggest forms, and everything in between that create a new universe.
There are these repetitive actions, similar processes that yet bring about unexpected results.


Maybe it was to be expected that the gardens of Kamiyama caught my eye. Looking at other peoples vegetable gardens is something that helps making myself feel at home in a new place. But the most striking I find the other gardens, the, I don’t know what to call them, beautiful gardens? (not meant to say something bad about the veggies!) I am impressed how every household puts so much attention to their garden. Every day I see people kneeling down at their bonsai trees, playing with them, involved in a concentrated dance with nature. Especially touching are the tiny gardens on one or two square meters, between the house and the street, filled with old little trees, strange stones,  pots with flourishing plants. I started reading about the philosophy of the traditional Japanese garden and find myself absorbed in this secret world full of meaning. I see it in a way closely related to my work when I bring natural materials into my studio and also bring my studio into nature. The works are my personal research of our relation to nature (a mystery in these desacralized modern times), expressing my need for places of reverence, for a secret that is bigger than ourselves.  It is these theme that sings along with my developing work in my studio in the shoe factory in Shimobun, and on the Ohayama mountain.



KAIR2008 Artist

Articles by Karin


  • That's a beautiful post Karin, I loved reading it!

    09/26/2008 2:40 PM | Andrea

  • A sharp eye on day-to-day life. (Shinya)

    09/26/2008 3:42 PM | 大南 信也

To comment


メールアドレスが公開されることはありません。 が付いている欄は必須項目です

このサイトはスパムを低減するために Akismet を使っています。コメントデータの処理方法の詳細はこちらをご覧ください