Portland Japanese Garden debuts its latest art exhibition, Takahiro Iwasaki: Nature of Perception, on September 24, 2023. Nature of Perception features the work of Japan Institute Artist-in-Residence, Takahiro Iwasaki. Considered one of Japan’s leading contemporary artists, the Hiroshima-based Iwasaki gained worldwide recognition when he represented Japan at the 2017 Venice Biennale, a highly regarded international cultural exposition often described as the Olympics of the art world.

His work has been praised as “exquisite” by The New York Times, which noted Iwasaki has “a lacemaker’s hand, a jeweler’s eye and a shopper’s instinct for cool materials.”

Known for his Reflection Model series, Iwasaki creates architecturally accurate models of historic Japanese sites, transforming them into immersive installations, where his sculptures are suspended off the floor with an inverted duplicate model assembled underneath. Simultaneously beautiful and awe-inspiring, each Reflection Model enchants, yet also gives the viewer pause to contemplate the nature of the built environment, human ingenuity, and what it means for it all to be turned upside down.

A work he has created in his studio based on Japan’s famed Rashomon gate will be on display in Portland Japanese Garden’s Pavilion Gallery.

In addition to his larger-scale architectural sculptures, Takahiro Iwasaki is also recognized for taking mundane, manufactured objects from daily life—duct tape, pencils, toothbrushes, towels—and transforming them into miniscule versions of familiar landmarks that suggest his surroundings. Iwasaki will use materials he gathers in Portland during his residency to create art that will be displayed in Portland Japanese Garden’s Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Gallery.

Takahiro Iwasaki: Nature of Perception runs through Monday, December 4, 2023, and is included in admission to Portland Japanese Garden.

Portland Japanese Garden Hours and Admission:

  • Hours:
    • 10:00am-4:00pm (last entry at 4:00pm) | Wednesday – Monday, closed Tuesdays
  • Tickets can be purchased at tickets.japanesegarden.org