Rokko Aoyama + Jefferson County Open School

Garden Garden
September 26 – November 11, 2005

Creative Resident Rokko Aoyama collaborated with high school students from Jefferson County Open School to transform PlatteForum’s outdoor plaza into an exterior “Garden”. The installation was created over several weeks and utilized industrial products such as steel rods, acrylic tubing, multi-colored electrical wiring and “paving stones” made from black sandbags. The workshop series began in part with a unique collaboration with the Denver Botanical Gardens where students participated in a traditional tea ceremony and toured the Japanese gardens with horticulturist Ebi Kondo. The students then toured the Asian Art collection at the Denver Art Museum and explored the Platte River landscapes to find plants native to Colorado to incorporate in their designs. Students co-designed the outdoor installation with Rokko and also completed special assignments in contrasting traditional Japanese “Strolling” gardens with Zen Gardens as well as researching certain Shinto architectural elements and kami (divine spirits that reside in nature).  

Sponsored by:
The William and Alice Hosokawa Fellowship, Japan America Society of Colorado