Radiant: A Piece of Land, A Piece of Mind

By Jo Phillips

Jacqueline Hassink, Zuiho-in 1, Daitoku-ji Central Kyoto 22 June 2004
Jacqueline Hassink, Zuiho-in 1, Daitoku-ji Central Kyoto 22 June 2004, all images © Jacqueline Hassink and courtesy The Wapping Project Bankside.

Being both naturally and beautifully sculpted, traditional Japanese gardens are the perfect place for contemplation and are a repository for meaning. They radiate an aura of evocative, and visually seductive charm. Having visited Kyoto in 2001, Dutch visual artist Jacqueline Hassink set out on a quest to capture the most magnificent examples of traditional Japanese gardens through her photographic study, View, Kyoto (2004-2011). After visiting 34 gardens surrounding Kyoto’s Buddhist temples, she selected 19 of her favourites and was granted permission to photograph only 12 after difficult negotiations.

Jacqueline Hassink, Shoden-ji summer North West Kyoto 22 July 2004
Jacqueline Hassink, Shoden-ji summer North West Kyoto 22 July 2004, all images © Jacqueline Hassink and courtesy The Wapping Project Bankside.

Like an ‘abstract painting of nature’, Jacqueline’s photographs visualise these living works of human art blending nature with culture. Through a premeditated angle, these secret sanctuaries are often photographed from inside a shrine, temple or villa looking out towards the open landscape. The punctilious grid of lines formed by tatami mats, wood beams and rice paper wall partitioning emphasise the minimal geometry of the interiors delivering a series of calm, soothing photographs.

Jacqueline Hassink, Hosen-in 1, Winter, North Kyoto, 14 February 2011
Jacqueline Hassink, Hosen-in 1, Winter, North Kyoto, 14 February 2011, all images © Jacqueline Hassink and courtesy The Wapping Project Bankside.

The first UK exhibition of Jacqueline Hassink’s series View, Kyoto (2004 – 2011) will be exhibited at The Wapping Project Bankside from 13 September till 20 October 2013.