In anticipation of unveiling an expanded Japanese garden and neighboring Bill Hosokawa Bonsai Pavilion and Tea Garden this spring, it made perfect sense to the folks at the Denver Botanic Gardens to celebrate with an outpouring of Japanese culture, from summer camps and classes to art exhibits and special events. Holding it all together is the site-specific summer installation Kizuna: West Meets East, which blends the monumental sculptural works of two artists -- one Japanese and one American -- who work with bamboo, though in very different ways.
Tetsunori Kawana bends and twists green bamboo poles into flexible forms, while Stephen Talasnik works with dried bamboo. In the past few weeks, both have been working in the gardens, installing their works for a passing audience.
"Visitors have really enjoyed it, because it does change so quickly," notes DBG exhibitions director Lisa Eldred. "Oftentimes the sculptures are already different even by the time they leave. These installations will all change over time, in the Colorado sun and changing weather." The elegant works deliver a contemporary, green message about sustainability and grace under pressure as they bend and sway in the elements -- one worth revisiting throughout the seasons.
Kizuna through November at the DBG, 1007 York Street; for information about companion events, visit www.botanicgardens.org or call 720-865-3500.
May 5-Nov. 4, 2012