Central Garden

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum

Ladybugs on the Lam!

Grounds and Gardens supervisor Michael DeHart with ladybugs

Artist Hirokazu Kosaka’s much anticipated presentation of “Kalpa” on January 20 at the Getty Center was an experimental performance spectacular, featuring hundreds of spools of thread being pulled in the mouths of Butoh dancers, and a shining spotlight that illuminated… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Behind the Scenes, Prints and Drawings

The Oakes Brothers’ Final Week at the Getty

Trevor Oakes completes the final panels of his drawing of the Getty’s Central Garden

Ryan and Trevor Oakes are close to completing their three-week drawing project, in which they’ve been rendering the Getty Center and Central Garden exactly as the human eye views it. Their last day here is this Saturday, December 24. Their… More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, Prints and Drawings

Double Draw: The Oakes Brothers at the Getty

The Oakes Brothers sketch in the Central Garden at the Getty Center

Twin brothers and artists Ryan and Trevor Oakes have similar interests, which isn’t really unusual for twins. However, the brothers have taken their mutual fascination with vision, light, space, and depth to a whole new level, and have built their… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

Change: Collecting Coins at the Getty Museum

collecting_coins

You close your eyes, make a wish, and throw a coin in a fountain. This scene isn’t uncommon here at the Getty. Last year, some $1,649.03 worth of coins were collected from the Azalea Pool in the Central Garden, contributed… More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

Winter in the Central Garden

Foliage of Eschscholzia california in the rain in the Central Garden at the Getty Center

The Getty’s outdoor spaces are never more beautiful than in the colder months. More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

You Asked, We Answered: The Mystery Plant Is…

Spanish flag in the Central Garden at the Getty Center - close-up of foliage

“What’s that?” is a common question in the Central Garden, a place full of exotic and curious plants. “James Cameron must have come here when he was dreaming up Avatar,” I recently overheard a visitor say while pointing to some… More»

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Posted in Getty Center, Photographs, Film, and Video

Photographic Magic with the Diana Camera

Diana camera

Photographer April Rocha sent us an excited e-mail a while ago, sharing her enthusiasm for the Diana camera, which she noticed was available at the Museum Store at the Getty Center. We asked her to tell us more, and she… More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, Getty Villa, Photographs, Film, and Video

Favorite Garden Photos from Our Flickr Group

Allium going to seed in the Central Garden by Juan Madrigal
Allium going to seed in the Central Garden by Juan Madrigal

Last week we asked you to post photos of the Getty gardens to our Flickr group for National Public Gardens Day, and you responded! On the group, which launched earlier this year, you can find fantastic uses of perspective, color,… More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center, Getty Villa

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day with Us

ladybugs

Friday is National Public Gardens Day, a great excuse to get out there and enjoy our local green spaces. In Los Angeles we have a wealth of fantastic public gardens that appeal to plant geeks and relaxation seekers alike—including Robert… More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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