Divine Gardens: Mayumi Oda and the San Francisco Zen Center
Hardcover, 112 pp.
Known to many as “the Matisse of Japan,” Mayumi Oda combines traditional Japanese and Buddhist iconography with her own unique sense of color, line, and movement. In this collection, her groundbreaking artwork is paired with essays by San Francisco Zen Center and Green Gulch Farm Zen Center practitioners (including Richard Baker, Linda Ruth Cutts, Wendy Johnson, Edward Espe Brown, and Norman Fischer) who have owned, loved, and been changed by Oda’s work over the years.
Mayumi Oda’s internationally-recognized artwork plays with traditional Japanese and Buddhist images, refiguring them as celebrations of the feminine and the natural world. Where most traditional Buddhist iconography features male figures, Oda introduces female “Goddesses” that seem to jump off the page, imbued with the vibrancy of Oda’s color and line.
Originally from Japan, Oda settled in Muir Beach, California in the 1970s and began practicing and painting at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, which Oda calls her “California Buddha Field.” Divine Gardens pairs Oda’s artwork with essays by her fellow practitioners, for whom Oda’s artwork has been a constant companion.
Suitable for study by art students or for display on a coffee table, Divine Gardens captures the essence of Mayumi Oda’s art and life as a Zen practitioner. The forty-five full-color works of art and twenty-four essays contained in the collection are a joyful celebration of her work and the community forged through the years at the San Francisco Zen Center.