Ryoan-ji , rock garden in Kyoto.

Discussion in 'Japanese Gardens' started by opusoculi, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. opusoculi

    opusoculi Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Bordeaux sous-west of France
    Returning from a court travel to Japan, Emery opened “Ryoan-ji in Kyoto” in the forum “Maples": Appreciation: - ryoan-ji in Kyoto.

    Here is a complement concerning the dry or rock garden (karesansui).
    I visited Ryoan-ji gardens in July 1997 and in November 2009. With my point of view , as artist, I inform you of my impressions. Without referring to the history of this dry garden very strip, I try to say by which way perceptions pass to touch us.

    -15 small rocks, It is difficult to count them. It emerge of ground by precise groups, The ground is covered with mosses (like that occurs naturally under the climate of Japan).
    - A great raked gravel extent, raked every morning by the monks, contrasts with the rocks which seems small islands.
    - This horizontal composition is surrounded by a wall***, outside is exterior.

    In this simple and strict presentation, no plant, no object, no anecdote comes to distract our attention. It is what supports the abstraction. Our glance must be satisfied with the relations between these three horizontal elements .
    The game of the proportions little and much, small and large acts on our sensitivity.
    The small grouped rocks drawing our attention become subjectively larger about it.
    When you cannot see the unit, a part even applies to the whole. An island alone applies to the whole of the composition and perhaps for the whole world.

    While you look at, time is a stopped short moment.
    However, the significances remain open to each person who looks at. None is imposed to us.

    If there is a difficulty, it is to agree to do without narration and to do without symbols . Meditation.
    By its degree of abstraction, this work exceeds the religious context in which it was created.

    This way, full with control, to organize space is astonishing for the 15°siècle; in Japan the dry gardens (caresansuy) have the statute of work of art. Much of artists of the 20°century were interested in Ryoan-ji.

    *** The wall is made of clay mixed with rapeseed oil.
    This long wall is representative of an important aesthetic category in the Japanese culture.
    'Sabi'= beauty of the imperfection of the quality of construction. Impredictibles changes of time and age.
    The rocks are representative of another aesthetic category.' Wabi' = natural simplicity.
    The two categories 'wabi and sabi' are often used together; and are main references for the cultivated japanese lifestyle.


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  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Thank you very much.
  3. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    Euclid, OH USA
    Ahhh yes...wabi-sabi without distraction is what I admire about Japan. @opusoculi, your essay on Ryoan-ji has helped me realize this in myself. Thank you for your insight and sharing your artistic perception!

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