Tokyo Potted Gardens
by Pierre Hourquet
Pierre Hourquet is a designer who lives and works in Paris. Since 2011 he has run the Hobbyist – a photographic blog and fanzine exploring hobbies and pastimes such as gardening, hiking, surfing and collecting.
“For a while now I’ve been fascinated by Jean Giono’s beautiful text, “The Man Who Planted Trees”. Besides its pacifist and ecological message, I enjoy the passages where the author seems to abandon himself to nature. I’ve been living in Paris for ten years now, while this is not exactly an urbanist hotspot, it’s difficult to imagine leaving the big city life. I find specific pleasure in seeing nature and city life adapting to one another, and reading about urbanists try to make them work together. When I was visiting Tokyo a few years ago I was astonished that my Japanese friends, who I admire as much for their esthetical sense as for their appraisal of modest beauty, had no appreciation for these small potted gardens that kept on attracting my attention. It’s true that I took these photographs as a passerby with no intention at all, but I take this practice of mine seriously and put in an effort to realise fanzines or small publications with my photographs or other people’s photographs without directly wanting to explain why, or at least without a publisher’s elaborate philosophy.”