A thousand years ago a court noble wrote the first guide to the philosophy of creating a Japanese garden – he called it Sakuteiki or Records of Garden Making. This is also the oldest known gardening manual in the world.
In today’s Japan, where ultra futuristic design sits next to buildings that have stood for two thousand years the people have retained a deep affinity to gardening yet with so little private outdoor space the gardens they produce are the antitheses to the formal creations of sakuteiki. Today’s gardens are gloriously eclectic affairs made from polystyrene containers that once held fresh fish, yogurt pots on string to a vast array of plastics containers all displayed on what is often a mere twelve inch strip in front of their property. Yet their creators and owners are no less proud of them and one of the joys of capturing these images has been the conversations with people who are so pleased that someone was interested in what they were growing.
Chris Wilson is from Llanelli in west Wales and has spent thirty years working in the cultural sector across Wales. For most of this time he has been an arts director and commissioner with a particular interest in photography. This is his first exhibition and is part of an extended series on aspects of everyday life in Japan.