In the first lecture scheduled for the 2015 Gualala Arts series, Shirley Freriks explores some of the outstanding gardens she has visited in her extensive travels to Japan and South Korea. She will provide ample visual illustrations of the various types of traditional gardens found in both Asian countries.
Over centuries, Japanese gardens evolved to create idealized miniature landscapes often in stylized and abstract patterns. Freriks will include both spring cherry blossoms and brilliant fall foliage in a variety of settings, primarily in Kyoto, as well as the more contemplative dry gravel and rock temple gardens.
The talk includes the Nijo Castle Garden in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, and the famous Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu. Both lead the visitor through a carefully crafted landscape that provides a meditative vista for the tea ceremony held in the garden teahouse.
A much different Japanese garden exists on the island of Miyajima near Hiroshima. The Japanese consider the entire island in its natural state to be the creation of divine powers. The Miyajima Natural Botanical Garden consists of natural forest and maritime vegetation numbering about 350,000 specimens.
Freriks will discuss The Spirited Bonsai and Rock Garden on Jeju Island, South Korea. The creation of one man, Sung Bum-Young, who transformed a volcanic wasteland into an internationally renowned destination, it is considered to be one of the best bonsai gardens in the world.
She also visits the Yeomiji Botanical Garden on Jeju Island, with its large convoluted indoor greenhouse containing approximately 2.000 rare tropical and sub-tropical plants. Its outdoor garden features not only native plants but also examples of traditional Korean, French and Italian gardens.
Since 1960, Freriks has travelled extensively to learn more about the cultures and art of nations around the world with a particular emphasis on Asia and Japan. She currently lives in Albion and has shared her experiences in various venues on the Mendonoma coast.