FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From Damsels to Demons: The Hidden Art of Netsuke Carving
Summer Exhibition for Portland Japanese Garden 2010 - Art in the Garden Series
Portland, Oregonundefined From damsels to demons, the exquisite miniature carvings known as netsuke were the essence of understated chic during the Edo period (1615-1868) in Japan. Collected internationally for over a century, these exquisitely carved works of art were used as toggles to attach lacquered medicine boxes and tobacco pouches to the obi sashes of fashionably dressed samurai and townsmen, whose traditional kimono garments had no pockets.
Carved with consummate artistry into a wide variety of imaginative shapes by master craftsmen, netsuke have much to tell us about the customs and folklore of traditional Japan. Worn partially concealed beneath the outer cloaks of the wearer, they served as good luck charms, as humorous personal mascots, or as treasured miniature works of art.
From June 19 - July 5, the Portland Japanese Garden will host an exhibition entitled From Damsels and Demons: The Hidden Art of Netsuke Carving which celebrates the Marian P. Miller Collection of more than 100 netsuke gifted to the Garden in 1998. The exhibition introduces this little-known art form and explores the often humorous and always fascinating characters from Japanese folklore and legend depicted in these intricate carvings. Top modern-day netsuke carvers, including British-born artist Nick Lamb, will be a part of the exhibition, and a set of 12 photo panels of selected netsuke from the Miller Collection revealed in close-up detail by photographer Jonathan Ley will be on view as well. www.japanesegarden.com/events/netsuke
Internationally known netsuke carver Nick Lamb will demonstrate his craft and be on hand to talk with visitors in the Pavilion on June 19 and 20 from 1-3pm. Nick trained as a graphic designer at the Berkshire College of Art in his native England. In 1973 he started woodcarving as a hobbyundefinedby the early 1980s he had won several woodcarving prizes. The demonstrations are free with paid Garden admission.
On Sunday, June 20, from 7:30 - 9:30 pm a lecture by Hollis Goodall, Curator of Japanese Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will be offered, followed immediately by a reception. Ms. Goodall is an internationally respected expert on netsuke and the co-author of The Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection of Netsuke: A Legacy at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a complete catalogue of one of the world’s finest collections of netsuke. Tickets are available at www.japanesegarden.com/events/netsuke or by calling (503) 542-0280.
Images (Hi-res/Downloadable) Available at: www.japanesegarden.com/press
The Portland Japanese Garden has been proclaimed one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in the world. The Garden is located above Washington Park at 611 SW Kingston Drive in SW Portland, Oregon and is open daily except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
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