A simple and provocative book offering a revisionist photo-essay on the ever-popular Japanese "dry landscape" or "rock" gardens. Not Zen, possibly art, more like "meta-gardens," gravel and sand compositions reject nature, yet are made of omnipresent natural dust. Quick to crumble, they are defiantly maintained by priest/rakers. Credited with philosophical profundity, their origins are murky, their meanings uncertain but immediate. Koren deliberately ignores "celebrity" rocks, moss, and foliage to demystify and explore a most peculiar human enterprise. Beautifully illustrated with duotone photographs of gravel and sand gardens in Kyoto.
About the Author
Leonard Koren, who was trained as an artist and architect, writes books about design and aesthetics. Among his most popular books are WABI SABI: For Artists, Design, Poets & Philosophers and Arranging Things: A Rhetoric of Object Placement.
"Featuring over 30 photos of graval and sand gardens taken in Kyoto, Japan, this thin paperback underscores the importance of 'experienceing the garden as garden.'" -- The Tri-County News