This past weekend, on the the way to a high school reunion, I finally got a chance to visit the Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture located a few miles south of Hanford, a central valley farm town located about 45 miles from Fresno, California.
I saw the Clark Center on Huell Howser's California's Gold on PBS. Always wanted to go and finally got a chance this weekend.
The Center has unique Japanese architecture, a exhibit hall that happened to be showing 1920's Japanese Art Decco art and outside it had a bonsai garden (with trees many decades old) as well as a view of Mr. Clark's private Japanese Garden (which is closed to the public, but can be easily seen from a distance). No bamboo, but beautiful nonetheless.
The thing that was almost surreal was that the Center was literally out in the middle of farmland, out in the middle of nowhere.
For $5 per adult, you were given a docent led tour of the art exhibit (shoes had to be taken off per Japanese tradition before entering the exhibit hall). The exhibit was really interesting, lots of art and artifacts from the 1910's, 20' and 30's (my favorite historical period coupled with a culture that I love).
If you ever find yourself near Hanford, the Clark Center is a 'must-see.' Pictured is a photo of the Japanese block print art found in the exhibit hall and the bonsai display outside.
Mad Man Bamboo