Born 1956, Japan
Tamotsu Tongu is a landscape architect, the president of Toko Garden Design based in Burnaby, BC. Born in Japan, he received certification in civil engineering, in the Saga school of ikebana, gardening, and master of landscape gardening, as well as a Bachelor’s degree from the Tokyo University of Agriculture for Landscape Architecture in 1979. After working for years as a manager, landscape coordinator, designer, and overseer on various projects in Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokushima, Tongu immigrated to Canada in 1987 and established Toko Garden Design in Calgary, later relocating to Burnaby in 2002.
Tongu believes that ‘landscaping mediates our relationship with nature, and our relationship with the self.’’ He sees Japanese landscape, through the filter of memory, as the core of his creative vision, describing the ‘sounds of the temple bell and evening cicadas, the fragrance of grass carried on a cool breeze at sunset,’an ‘intangible, reminiscent yet profound essence of Japanese experience’.’ He applies these sensibilities now in a Canadian environment, adapting his inspiration to fit the region and climate.