From Takahiro Iwasaki: Nature of Perception
During his three weeks at Portland Japanese Garden, Japan Institute Artist-in-Residence Takahiro Iwasaki demonstrated a remarkable amount of resourcefulness, flair, and imaginativeness in creating this locally inspired artwork. Arriving in Portland with just a laptop and sketchbook, Iwasaki started conducting research into Portland’s contours, topography, history and culture. As he experienced Portland’s community, he started to collect discarded garments from Goodwill, shops, and the Garden’s community. With this mountain of anonymous fabrics, Iwasaki transformed the L-shaped glass-cases of the Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Gallery into the bend of the Willamette River, showcasing a miniaturized reflection of Portland’s landscape as seen from Portland Japanese Garden. Striations of colorful cloth form sedimentary layers that reflect the geological past but more importantly, hint at the different cultures, memories, and histories that have built Portland into what it is today.
Meticulously created miniature bridges, transmission towers, and billboards sculpted from the garments’ threads suggest familiar landmarks that pull viewers into the artwork. For Iwasaki, bridges and gates act as a metaphor of connection, linking different conceptual elements such as in/out, up/down, and here/there, inviting the viewer to look again from a new frame of reference. Out of Disorder (Thread through Time) corresponds to Iwasaki’s Reflection Model floating in the Pavilion Gallery, as both pieces covertly point to the multiple facets of history, character, and perception behind every place and individual. Closer examination unravels many layers of truth and interpretation.
Contrasting with the subtle greens outside in the Garden, Iwasaki’s playful riot of color grounds the work in a fundamental Japanese garden principle of striving for a sense of unity at the intersection of architecture and nature.
Tour the Exhibition Online
Takahiro Iwasaki’s Artist-in-Residency was generously provided by
Additional support provided by