French Landscape Painters and the Nature of Paris

A review of Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Moscow, an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Art in Osaka, Japan. “Any exhibition that starts with an 18th century tree hugger has me on a hook.” If we learn anything from an exhibition such as “Masterpieces of French Landscape […]

A City Designed by Trees

“Seeing trees as sacred is not an anomaly; it’s the fact that we’ve somehow lost this fellowship that’s the anomaly.” Awake a few hours earlier than necessary, we are on bicycles heading through urban infill, in a part of town that used to be Osaka Bay. Moving inland, we pass through a few old shopping […]

When a Korean Hillside Town Disappears, Who will Notice?

A review of “A Local Neighborhood Traveler,” an exhibition of painting and drawing by Korean artist Se Hee Kim at the Boroomsan Museum of Art in Gimpo, South Korea. On the outskirts of Seoul, tucked away into a traditional hillside garden is the Boroomsan Museum of Art. The museum sits on the edge of an […]

Drought and Flood: A Silicon Valley Museum Explores Water, Society, and City

A review of “Liquid City,” The Darkened Mirror,” and “Fragile Waters,” a trio of water-related exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art, currently on view together through August 6, 2017. As the representative contemporary art institution of Silicon Valley, the San Jose Museum of Art might be expected to engage technology a good bit. […]

Finding Nature in the Walls of a Power Station

A review of Why Not Ask Again, the 11th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai, China, on view through 12 March 2017. It’s not unusual by any means in the contemporary art world, but as an edifice, the Power Station of Art is just about as apathetic to nature as most […]

Intertwining People, Nature, and Place with Quilts and Thread

A review of Earth Stories, an exhibition on view at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles now through February 28, 2016. The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles is tucked into a rather plain looking beige building at the southern end of San Jose’s “SoFA” arts district. You wouldn’t think much of […]

Social Practice Artwork: A Restaurant and Garden Serving up Connections to Urban Nature

Can an urban garden help us remember what it means to be human? Three months ago, we opened a slightly audacious restaurant and garden in a working-class suburb of Osaka, Japan with the intent of connecting people more deeply with food and nature in their neighborhood. Experimental and temporary in nature, the project was approached […]

Trees of Life and Fruitful Relationships

A review of Arboreal Architecture: A Visual History of Trees, an exhibition on view at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, now through July 20, 2015. The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford is a beacon for global arts and culture in Silicon Valley—it opened its doors in 1894, nearly a century before Silicon Valley was a […]

Artists, Vagabonds, and an Accidental Nature Reserve in San Francisco Bay

A review of Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art and Culture, an exhibition curated by Robin Lasser, Danielle Siembieda, and Barbara Boissevain at SOMArts, San Francisco, USA.  For such a far-reaching social and ecological exposition, Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art and Culture centers on a surprisingly small piece of man-made land known as the Albany Bulb. […]

What are “Garden Cities” Without a Garden Culture? How a Cultural Connection with Nature Can Build a Truly Sustainable Future

This marks the fourth year that my partner Suhee Kang and I have been studying, working with, living with, and learning from individuals in East Asia and the U.S. who are at the forefront of the sustainable (agri)culture movement. During this time, our primary goal has been the making of a documentary film, “Final Straw: […]