Art Exhibitions

Portland Japanese Garden is a natural vehicle through which to explore Japanese art and design. Art exhibitions explore ideas and aesthetics integral to the fabric of life in Japan. Introducing a wide array of artists and art forms, these exhibitions reflect on ways we experience peace through connections to art, nature, and one another.

Art exhibitions at Portland Japanese Garden began with Diane Durston, Curator Emerita (former Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art and Education from 2007-2018). It launched with a series of four special exhibitions a year— one for each of the four seasons—that would reflect the intersection of art and nature and introduce the importance of seasonality in Japanese art and gardens. The exhibitions would celebrate work influenced by the aesthetics of Japan or created in response to the Garden itself.

Aki Nakanishi, Portland Japanese Garden’s current Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, and Education explains, “Traditionally, the role of Japanese gardens is to offer a place of quiet contemplation detached from the noise of modern society. But at the same time, Japanese gardens have always embraced, if not strived for a sense of symbiosis created at the intersection of architecture, art, and nature, which demonstrates the balance that can be achieved when nature and human ingenuity converge.”

Now more than a decade later, Portland Japanese Garden has successfully introduced the work of more than 75 artists representing Japan and its unique artistic traditions. The works come from internationally known artists—some of whom have been recognized as Living National Treasures in Japan, as well as rising young artists and artisans from all parts of the country.

Tour Exhibitions Online

A virtual tour of the Garden’s latest exhibition, Subtle Intimacy: Here and There, (3/18/2023 – 6/12/2023) can be seen below. To see prior exhibitions, click on the right menu below titled “3D Model Gallery.”

Pavilion Gallery:

Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Gallery:

Explore Previous Art Exhibitions