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Artist's Reception

Thursday, January 22

Please join us in the Library for joSon's special evening reception to celebrate his new exhibition. The reception is open to the public and admission is free. All artwork in the exhibition is for sale, along with selected unframed work. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Library.

Art Exhibit

Fotanicals: the Secret Language of Flowers

Photography by joSon   |   January – April

The Helen Crocker Russell Library is pleased to present an exciting new exhibition by photographer joSon. The exhibition is based on joSon's recently-published book, joSon: Intimate Portraits of Nature, a large-format art book that features signature photographs from his "Fotanicals Collection".

JoSon's modern tools illuminate traditional art in 'Fotanicals'
SFGate, January 2015

Photography Exhibition Reveals the Secret Language of Flowers
Garden Design, January 2015


The flower portraits are presented against a solid black or white background, offering a striking visual display of their intricate beauty. "By taking the flower outside of its natural setting," says joSon, "I wanted viewers to have an intimate experience with nature... I wanted to prompt them to take more time to reflect on why flowers play such a crucial role in human culture and emotion."

"Every one of joSon's exquisite photos captures the beauty of flower shapes, curves, colors, and angles in extraordinary ways. His creations elucidate beyond what can be described in words
–Frank Almeda, Curator of Botany, California Academy of Sciences."

Each portrait draws in the viewer with its sumptuous detail, delicate movement and vivid color. Beyond simple beauty, joSon sees the power of nature to move and express emotions. "Time and again as we struggle to express our innermost emotions, the all-too-human languages we've learned to depend on fail us," he says. "A single flower can often fill that void, providing illumination only the heart can understand."

joSon's work has appeared in magazines including Scientific American, Outside and Conde Nast Traveler and is collected by an international list of clients. He has exhibited recently at 555 California Street Concourse Gallery in San Francisco. joSon was born in the Philippines to a Filipino-Chinese mother and an African-American father. At the age of ten he was sent to live with his mother's family in Vietnam, where he was educated in a Buddhist temple throughout his teen years in preparation for becoming a monk. You can see that early training in his work today – meditations on the beauty to be found in the simplest forms.


General Exhibit Information

The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture is recognized as one of the finest horticultural resources in the nation. Its 27,000-volume collection ranges from new gardening titles to antique herbals. The Library is open, free of charge, from 10am–4pm, every day except Tuesdays and major holidays.

Exhibitions of plant- and garden-related drawings, paintings, photographs and educational displays run for four-month periods. The artwork in our exhibitions are available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Library. For more information, call (415) 661-1316 ext. 403.

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

Member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries
An international organization whose purpose is to initiate and improve communications among persons and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance and use of libraries of botanical and horticultural literature.
SFBGS and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department San Francisco Botanical Garden's beauty and value as a major cultural resource are the result of a successful public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

ADMISSION  FREE for Members, SF Residents (with proof of residency) & School Groups | $7 Non-residents | Discounts for Seniors & Children

LOCATED In Golden Gate Park, with entrances at the corner of Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way (Main Gate) & at MLK Jr. Drive off the Music Concourse (Friend/North Gate) | Phone: (415) 661-1316 | Mail: 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122-2370

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