Art, Book, Greenspace June 6, 2011 By Jordan Sayle

g 31 A Garden Grows in Japan Just months after his country suffered the devastating effects of a record setting earthquake, Yokoyama’s drawings of an otherworldly sanctuary are unavoidably difficult to separate from the images of lived experience. Suddenly, on March 11 of this year, much of Tōhoku’s Pacific coastline came to resemble the distorted landscape of random parts found in Garden. The concept of discovering an unfathomable place full of the abandoned remnants of civilized life became all too familiar. But how this story is interpreted doesn’t seem to be on the author’s mind.
     “When I make my books, I don’t think about readers, so I have not thought about this kind of matter,” he says. “Unfortunately, my books don’t have the power to save people in the affected area. But I think people need time and [a] sense of self-composure, to enjoy books such as mine.”
     The months of spring and summer have arrived in Japan, and with them, as with art, there is always new growth on the rise. At this difficult time, Yokoyama offers his art as an escape and just maybe a glance forward.

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