Posts Tagged With: Isamu Noguchi

News from New York


Marc Keane and Matthew Kirsch on Japanese Gardens

Saturday, May 11, 3 pm

The Japanese Garden is made from a collaboration with nature … Man’s hands are hidden by time and the many effects of nature, moss and so forth, so you are hidden. I don’t want to be hidden. I want to show. Therefore I am modern. ISAMU NOGUCHI*

Join Marc Keane, landscape architect and garden scholar, and Matthew Kirsch, Curator of Research at The Noguchi Museum, for a discussion about the Japanese garden as both inspiration and point of departure for Isamu Noguchi in the later decades of his career. In 1950, nineteen years after his first visits to temples in Kyoto and Nara, Noguchi traveled to each again, with artist and writer Saburo Hasegawa guiding his visits to Zen temples and to the Katsura Imperial Villa. Their experiences were framed by their shared search for inspiration in Japan’s cultural past, which they hoped could be reinterpreted in modern practice. The Japanese garden exemplified this promise: an aesthetic culture with its own set of guidelines and precepts which, rather than stifling creativity and innovation, extended possibilities within a tradition.

Following the talk, please join us in the Museum Shop for a book signing featuring Marc Keane’s Japanese Garden Notes: A Visual Guide to Elements and Design (Stone Bridge Press, 2016).

This event coincides with Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan (on view through July 14), a major traveling exhibition that traces influences of the dialogue between Isamu Noguchi and Saburo Hasegawa through their respective works.

Free with admission. RSVP recommended to

Shisen-do Temple, Kyoto. Photograph by Marc Peter Keane; from Japanese Garden Notes: A Visual Guide to Elements and Design (Stone Bridge Press, 2016). Courtesy of the author.Saburo Hasegawa and Isamu Noguchi at Shisen-do Temple, 1950. Photograph by Michio Noguchi. The Noguchi Museum Archive. ©INFGM/ARSHojo garden at Tofuku-ji Temple, Kyoto, by Mirei Shigemori. Photograph by Marc Peter Keane; from Japanese Garden Notes: A Visual Guide to Elements and Design (Stone Bridge Press, 2016). Courtesy of the author.

Isamu Noguchi, Round Square Space, 1970. Indian granite. Photograph by Kevin Noble. ©INFGM/ARS

*Rhony Alhalel, “A Conversation with Isamu Noguchi,” Kyoto Journal 10, Spring 1989, p 35.

The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard)
Long Island City, NY | 718.204.7088Public programs at The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum are supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Categories: Long Island, New York | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Long Island City studio and garden of Isamu Noguchi

One of several display areas indoors

an overview of the garden outside

Still catching up with gardens visited and not posted. Here is a day trip to the studio and garden of Isamu Noguchi in Long Island City, New York.

works of art, stones, plants all were arranged by Noguchi before his death

To find out more about Isamu Noguchi and his studio, please visit the web site:


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Short walk in Los Angeles yields several gardens


Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco plus a few places remaining in Berkeley and San Diego offer visitors to those California cities glimpses into the old days of Japantowns. Here a daruma is one image of three on fans attached to utility poles throughout Little Tokyo in Los Angeles.          [photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger]

We passed through Los Angeles on our way to a Japanese garden conference in Denver sponsored by the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA). During a previous conference some years earlier, a tour guided us through the triangular garden at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center designed by Takeo Uesugi in the early 1970s. Thirty years later, Mr. Uesugi returned for a complete renewal of the same garden, which also involved modifying the downstairs conference room with folding glass doors that would open completely, blending inside and outside.

As is true with many gardens, it is named not for the location, organization, or designer. This is the James Irvine Japanese Garden named for the foundation whose generosity made this hidden gem possible. It also is known as Senryu-en, Garden of the Clear Stream.


David Sipos hand planed and traditionally built bridge is holding up very nicely

For more information on the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, please look at their web site:

Across the brick plaza and past the Isamu Noguchi sculpture to the other side is a wonderful wander through the stores and restaurants of Little Tokyo.


On the other side of that is East First Street and the “new” Nishi Hongwanji of Los Angeles.

Members of the sangha took time to point out how grateful they felt to have quite a number of landscapers among their membership. My personal favorites were the rustic lantern on the First Street side and several beautifully pruned pines.

For more information on the Nishi Hongwanji Los Angeles Betsuin contact their web site:

Back up First Street is the old Nishi Hongwanji building, now part of the Japanese American National Museum campus.

Exterior glass admits great light far into the interior. The glass is continued inside with a very subtle gratitude to donors “wall” between the great hall and the outdoor cafe.

For more information on the Japanese American National Museum, contact their web site:

Between the old Nishi Hongwanji and the Japanese American National Museum, a wide plaza leads back to monuments dedicated to Japanese American service in World War II. “Go For Broke” was their motto.

Further up the street is Anzen Hardware, covered in an earlier post.

And then back to the hotel we chose for proximity to all these places and the exquisite third floor garden, accessible via elevator from the lobby.

Kyoto Gardens has become a Hilton DoubleTree. The garden hosts many wedding parties.

Before leaving town the following morning, we walked down the street to see the Higashi Hongwanji gardens, presently being maintained by the son of one of the garden’s builders.


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Photos by K.T. Cannon-Eger. We welcome helpful remarks and sharing of material. If you share, please be nice and give credit.


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