Big Bamboo Art Among Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms

Kizuna is Denver Botanic Gardens’ latest stellar art installation

“Kizuna: East Meets West,” by Tetsunori Kawana and Stephen Talasnik, at the Denver Botanic Gardens through November 4, again shows the perfect partnership of monumental sculpture art and nature’s botanical art enhanced and arranged by the Gardens’ gifted horticulturalists and landscapers. I wrote again, because “Moore in the Gardens,” the year-long exhibition of Henry Moore’s enormous metal sculptures in 2o10-11, also showcased monumental masterpieces in all seasons and all kinds of light.

Bamboo tower by Tetsunori Kawana, a renowned contemporary Japanese installation artist and ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) master, at the Gardens' entrance.

While Moore’s metal sculptures are solid, hard and immutable, Kawana and Talasnik, work in bamboo, a natural, malleable and sustainable material. Tons of several species were delivered to Gardens for the artists to cut, peel, bend and assemble into site-specific sculptures. Kawana’s are enormous and resemble waves and coils statically rolling across the Gardens’ lush landscape. Some wave gently in the breeze, and visitors can walk through some of them. Talasnik’s pieces float in the pond of Monet’s Garden, often turning in the breeze or the current when a duck or goose swims by. In fact, a mother goose — really — laid her eggs in one of the floating artworks.

The Monet Garden's quiet pond reflects one of Talasnik's pieces.


The largest Talasnik installation resembles a bamboo donut placidly floating on the pond.


Mother goose and the three goslings that hatched in a nest built in one of the sculptures.
The goslings exploring the land next to the pond. Both parents are nearby, however, because Canada geese mate for life. Adorable fluff-balls!


A haiku tree, "planted" in the Japanese Garden so that where visitors can Find the Haiku Tree in the Japanese Garden to read, compose and share poems. This form of non-rhyming Japanese poetry has three phrases, usually with a 5-7-5 syllable pattern and one word or phrase providing a clue to the season.


A visitor passes one side of one half of a wavy bamboo piece on a grassy hillside and provides a bit of perspective on just how large it is. It is also possible to walk between them.
A walk-up, walk-to, walk-through work by Kawana.

The Denver Botanic Gardens are at  1007 York Street, Denver. Click here for hours, admission prices and other information.