Native Plants of Japan
About this Exhibition
With plant subject assignments in hand, botanical artists in Japan are working on preparing a group of native plant paintings to be exhibited at Makino Memorial Garden Gallery in Tokyo. The Garden is named after Tomitaro Makino, respected worldwide as the father of Japanese systematic botany. He was also a talented illustrator, who made his own brushes to use in inking his exquisite diagnostic drawings. This makes the garden a perfect venue for continuing to tell the story of Japanese plants through botanical art.
Mieko Ishikawa’s beautifully executed painting of this endemic Japanese Symplocos shows its flowers and berries as they grow on the tree, and breaks them out in close-up views. She deftly captures the back-curled, shiny leaves and confidently manages the complexity of many leaves and flowers in this highly detailed and naturalistic watercolor. Symplocos kawakamii is listed as Critically Endangered on the Red List of Japanese Threatened Plants.
The Japanese Douglas-fir is an uncommon conifer found only in Japan. It is slow growing and its populations are scattered, although it is also cultivated in arboreta and botanical gardens. The artist has depicted its new bright green growth, male and female cones, and the habit of the full tree in her stunning illustration. Pseudotsuga japonica has recently been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.