Dr. Tim Wong and Dr. Akiko Hirano first started their long collaboration as scientists, doing virus research at University of Southern California School of Medicine and University of Washington School of Medicine. They fell in love with the landscape after a trip through the American Southwest. For a long time, they did not know what drew them to the seemingly barren landscape, until they visited the famous Ryoanji rock garden in Kyoto. It was there that they realized the Southwest desert is nature's rock garden on a grand scale, without the crowds and the noise, a place for quiet contemplation. Yet it is also unforgiving and requires constant mindfulness with all the senses fully engaged. The contradiction creates a compelling resonance that has drawn artists like Georgia O'Keeffe to New Mexico.
In the year 2000, Wong and Hirano quit their faculty positions at University of Washington and moved to Santa Fe. They opened Touching Stone Gallery in a 250-year-old adobe house on Old Santa Fe Trail. For the next 14 years, their gallery promoted talented living artists with highly acclaimed exhibitions of Japanese art, including ceramic, textile, and painting. After the 100th show, they decided to close the gallery to spend more time on their own art and writing. Their works explore the synergy between Japanese and Southwestern aesthetics. We hope you will find your visit enjoyable and rewarding, and we love to hear from you.