Wednesday, May 21, 7PM
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd. # 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036)
Author of "Zen Landscapes: Perspectives on Japanese Gardens and Ceramics"(Reaktion Books, 2013), Allen S. Weiss will talk about the essential elements of Japanese gardens.
Japanese gardens exhibit beautiful miniaturization and precise craftsmanship. Their apparent minimalism belies a true complexity which must be approached according to the play of scale, surroundings and seasons, as well as in relation to other arts, thus revealing them as living landscapes rather than abstract designs.
These gardens are inspired by the Zen aesthetics of the tea ceremony, manifested in poetry, painting, calligraphy, architecture, cuisine and ceramics. Japanese art favours suggestion and allusion, valuing the threshold between the distinct and the inchoate, between figuration and abstraction. Ceramics play a crucial role here, relating as much to the site-specificity of landscape as to the ritualized codes of the tea ceremony and the everyday gestures of the culinary table. Such correspondences between gardens and ceramics suggest new implications for theories of representation, and argue for the rightful place of ceramics among the fine arts.
Lecturer: Allen S. Weiss
Writer, translator, curator and playwright, and the author and editor of over forty volumes in the fields of performance theory, landscape architecture, gastronomy, sound art and experimental theater. His most recent publication is Zen Landscapes: Perspectives on Japanese Gardens and Ceramics (Reaktion Books, 2013). He teaches in the departments of Performance Studies and Cinema Studies at New York University.