Koichi Watanabe “Moving Plants”
This event has ended.
Watanabe has been photographing “itadori” (Japanese knotweed) for over 10 years. This plant, also known as “skanpo,” is found all over Japan, and has been known throughout history as a medicinal and edible plant. However, few people know that roughly 200 years ago, Philipp Franz von Siebold, who was living in Nagasaki at the time, brought it back from Japan to Europe for use in gardening, and its hardiness has led to its spread throughout the world, reproducing so widely that it is now changing local ecosystems.
Ever since coming across Japanese knotweed while photographing the scenery of Hokkaido, Watanabe has researched the ecology of this weed and traveled far and wide to see it with his own eyes. While consulting reference works, both old and new, from around the world, he has contacted local botanists, delving into the world of this plant in countries such as the U.K., the Netherlands, Poland, and the U.S. This exhibition will feature 18 photographic works and two video works from Watanabe’s “Moving Plants” series. Watanabe’s depictions of Japanese knotweed in this project convey these plants, with their profound life force, as possessing a natural, organic beauty despite being highly invasive.
The exhibition features not only photographic works captured by large-lensed cameras, but also documentary films of Japanese knotweed in their natural environments around the world, and rare materials used by Watanabe in his research. This is the first time the entirety of Watanabe’s Japanese knotweed project has been shown, and the giant prints of itadori, as tall as people, fill the entire exhibition area with the strong presence of these plants.
Talk Event: Koichi Watanabe x Tomoki Yamauchi
Date: Mar. 3 (Sat), 14:00-16:00
Speakers: Koichi Watanabe, Tomoki Yamauchi (Lecturer in Kyoto University of Education Faculty of Arts, gardener)
Venue: Word Hall
*Event in Japanese.
from January 13, 2018 to March 25, 2018