LE FIGARO (France)
Writer, landscaper, art historian, Sophie Walker has this combination of the serious and the fantastical which is the secret magic of English charm. Her book is the fruit of ardent research and of an obsession with simple perfection. It defines the principles and the philosophy which inspire these gardens, which are so different from those of the British Isles.
To abandon oneself while scrupulously respecting certain codes: to reconcile these two imperatives, is it possible for us, Westerners? And, assuming we get there, do we feel pleasure? In each chapter of The Japanese Garden, a book of pictures as zen as the texts, the landscape painter Sophie Walker stresses the tension between these two commands.
AD ARCHITECTURE (France)
From imperial estates to Zen creations, landscape artist Sophie Walker introduces us to the art of the Japanese garden, its thousand-years history and its many facets.
Insight into the enigmatic nature of the Japanese garden is revealed beneath a dark green fabric covered book written by garden designer Sophie Walker and published by Phaidon. ‘The Japanese Garden’ covers the history, design and concepts behind this unique Asian art form through a charmingly detailed narrative that varies in pace from thematic chapters, to intimate essays and photography inside which the reader can get lost.
If [The Japanese Garden] only comprised the images it would be “highly recommended” – with Sophie Walker’s text it would become “almost essential” – but with the additional essays it becomes a “no-brainer”: we should all have a copy.
TOWN & COUNTRY
This engaging book...offers fresh insight into the art of the Japanese garden through a collection of Shinto shrines, Buddhist temple gardens, Imperial gardens, tea gardens and contemporary designs.
Garden designer Sophie Walker has assembled a starry line-up of essayists to bolster what would be a seriously impressive book even without the brief contributions of artist Anish Kapoor, mathemetician Marcus du Sautoy and architects John Pawson and Tadao Ando.
IL FATTO QUOTIDIANO (Italy)
In The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker, the evocative athmosphere is encased in the contaxt of the Asian culture, where avery detail takes a deep meaning.
Gardening… is presented as a true art form in the beautiful volume published by L’Ippocampo which we have chosen for you this week, The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker. She herself is a garden maker, the author introduces her book with these words: ‘Refined, the garden is an ancient and powerful cultural space, esoteric and mysterious...'
LA REGIONE (Switzerland)
The Japanese garden encloses within itself poetry, painting, architecture, mathematical precision, religious and philosophical abstractions. All these aspects are visually and conceptually dealt with in the splendid book we advise you to give this Christmas: The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker… It is not an illustrated book, it is not an essay, it is not a splendid object in Japanese-style hardcover: it is all these things together, something to grow in the garden of your books.
THE JAPANESE GARDEN BOOK LAUNCH
The Japanese Garden book launch at Victoria and Albert Museum, London, following Sophie Walker's public lecture
NEW YORK TIMES
"Sophie Walker’s The Japanese Garden is an ambitious survey, set in a framework that’s both historical and thematic (“Death, Tea and the Garden,” for instance, which sounds like something Thomas Mann would have enjoyed). ...elegant photographs are accompanied by impressively eccentric essays. (...) I wish this book could be three times as long and as large."
"Walker explains how such sophistication elevates these gardens to high art. In her view, garden making in the west lacks creative ambition whereas the gardens of Japan often have a greater depth."
"The shooting star of horticulture, (...) her book is an essay, collection of material, cultural-historical and landscape architectural contemplation of a phenomenon that has shaped a generation of artists and intellectuals. Sophie Walker approaches Far Eastern garden art from several directions simultaneously: systematically as a landscape designer and associatively as an admirer.
Weekend Read: Sophie Walker on The Japanese Garden | Sunday Brunch | Chapter 4
GARDEN DESIGN ONLINE
Books: The Japanese Garden | In Depth | "There are many books on Japanese gardens, but not many that let you know with clarity what it all means. (...) a unique take on the meaning behind Japanese design, and you'll come away with a deep appreciation"
The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker | Garden books of the year
"This beautifully designed book will certainly open the reader’s eyes to the cultural wonder that is the Japanese garden as well as explaining so much behind its conception as well as adding an in-depth appreciation behind meaning and understanding "
The Japanese Garden: "This isn’t just a book for keen gardeners, it’s a source of art and design ideas and concepts for anyone in need of inspiration and visual stimulation "
ELLE DECORATION SPAIN
"El Jardìn Japonés": Sophie Walker's The Japanese Garden featured | ELLE Decoration Spain | November
ELLE DECORATION UK
"Meditative Nature": Sophie Walker's The Japanese Garden feature | ELLE Decoration UK
JOHN SANDOE BOOKS
John Sandoe: 13 Books for Christmas - The Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden: Sophie Walker feature by Alice Vincent
The Secret Beauty, Terror and Power of Japanese Gardens
HOMES & GARDENS
"Blades of Glory": the garden designed by Sophie Walker at Sheila and Christopher Richards’ 17th-century house
Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands opens Sophie Walker's garden at De Pont Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands
Sophie Walker is creating an immersive experience for visitors to Borde Hill Garden near Haywards Heat in West Sussex
Team Zaha Hadid Architects, Anish Kapoor and Sophie Walker shortlisted for UK Holocaust Memorial Competition | AJ Review
Sophie Walker, Eileen Hogan and Clare Willsdon discuss plants and gardens for "Gardens in Art: Sow, Grow, Repeat" at the Royal Academy of Arts