Foto: Kees Ouwens

O-huis studio, Shikoku, Japan.


After my studies at the Royal Horticultural College in The Netherlands, I went to Japan to study Japanese gardens, because of the difference in perception of space, especially in creating gardens. My main focal point of interest were stone arrangements, which are the fundamental part of garden making in Japan. If the stone compositions are not done in a proper way, the whole garden will appear as an unbalanced, not well designed one. So I ended up working 3 years with stones only, selecting, arranging, and moving them around various places in the gardens I worked on. Also, I had the opportunity to make walls, water basins, and lanterns out of stone.

In 1986 I started my own company to make gardens, not only in the traditional way of creating gardens (which is only copying), but to make gardens (spaces) which reflect today's lifestyles and cultures. At the moment, I am living and working in my studio in Japan, creating my own personal style in making spaces (gardens), in which stone is the most important element to me.