Art celebrates Japanese Garden

Art of Toko Shinoda honors Portland Japanese Garden's 50th anniversary

By Jenny Wasson / The Bulletin

Published Feb 22, 2013 at 04:00AM

In 1963, landscape architect Takuma Tono began designing and landscaping a Japanese garden on the site of the former Washington Park Zoo (now called the Oregon Zoo). Featuring five traditional garden styles, the Portland Japanese Garden is now considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan.

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the garden will present “50 Prints and Paintings, Toko Shinoda at 100.” Part of the “Art in the Garden” series, the exhibit is currently running through March 17 in Portland.

Artist Toko Shinoda, who turns 100 years old in March, is considered one of Japan's “foremost modern practitioners of the ancient art of calligraphy,” according to a news release.

She began her training in calligraphy at the age of 6 and had her first solo exhibition in Tokyo in 1940.

Inspired by the abstract expressionist movement of the 1950s, Shinoda's works “combine a refined minimalism with a dynamic abstract energy,” according to the news release. “Her masterful brushstrokes are often complemented with a subtle touch of color and convey a Zen-like sense of tranquility.”

The exhibit comprises 50 of Shinoda's calligraphy pieces, lithographs and paintings — one for each year of the garden's history. Works will be available for purchase.

The 50th anniversary celebration continues throughout 2013 with special programs, events and exhibits including “Isamu Noguchi: We are the Landscape of All We Know” (May 3-July 21) and “A Distant View: The Porcelain Sculpture of Sueharu Fukami with Photographs by Jean Vollum” (Oct. 4-Nov. 17).

General admission to the garden is $9.50 for adults, $7.75 for seniors (ages 62 and older) and college students (with identification) and $6.75 for youth (ages 6 to 17). For more information, visit www.japanesegarden.com or contact 503-223-1321.

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