The Arts Society Kington Langley Special Interest Day 27th February

The Arts Society Kington Langley Special Interest Day 27th February

16 Mar 2024

TASKL Special Interest Day February 27th

The Arts of Japan with Professor Marie Conte-Helm

'Highlights of Japanese Art' 'The Art of the Japanese Garden' and 'Japanese Art and the West'

Forever a dilemma choosing a theme for the Special Interest Day, we decided to follow on from last year’s themed day on Russia with another country that while well-known is still relatively unknown to most of us.

Japan is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination but for most it’s a destination out of reach. We’re familiar with Japanese consumer goods, from automobiles to music systems, from iconic children’s toys to fashionable cuisine.

Yet how much do we know about the art and culture of this once mysterious nation?

Professor Marie Conte Helm gave us three illuminating lectures to answer these questions and help us understand the distinct culture of Japan. A renowned expert and lecturer on all things Japanese, she gave us a very good insight and background to the art, architecture and traditions of this Asian country which differs so much from Europe.

In more recent times with easier communication, it was inevitable that Japanese and European artists and architects would influence each other and we were shown examples of the resultant beguiling mix.

The Japanese approach to gardening was also comprehensively covered with numerous examples of gardens both in Japan and elsewhere as their ordered, symbolic presentation started to influence designers outside Japan with wonderful examples in the USA and in England.

So, one does not have to travel to Japan to experience their wonderful culture.

These lectures brought Japan to us and reminded us that other cultures have so much to offer.

After the art, architecture and gardens there remained the challenge of cuisine and once again our in-house catering experts rose to the occasion and offered an incredible Japanese-themed lunch.

To say the presentation and choice had the wow factor would be an understatement. Heather and Diane in particular, but not forgetting the hard work of their assistants, are quite remarkable and imaginative and we as a society are incredibly fortunate to have them. We now have quite the reputation in that respect and deservedly so.

We had a huge turnout of members and guests in the hall and a very large zoom audience as well which was very satisying. It was a memorable day and those who didn’t attend, definitely missed a treat.

Picture Credit: Kinkatuji, Temple of the Golden Pavilion Professor Marie Conte-Helm


About the Author

Geoff Miller

Geoff Miller
Programme Secretary TASKL

  • SID
  • Japan
  • Gardens


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