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Monday, 19 September 2016

Monday, 12 September 2016

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Ikebana Today 50

I have been writing about the differences between Ikebana and contemporary art. Although there are many differences, what is the most important and fundamental difference? Recognising such a difference would help us to understand better both Ikebana and contemporary art.

After practising the both forms of art for a while, I now realise that their difference is a bit similar to the difference between haiku and a novel. For me creating Ikebana is just like creating haiku and making a sculpture is like writing a novel. I’ll explain the difference more in detail in the next issues. 

This is the Ikebana work I made for Shumei Kobayashi’s exhibition at the Lesley Kehoe Galleries on Collins St, Melbourne. I used a container by a master potter, Shoji Mitsuo. I heard that Mr Shoji visited the opening and I hope that he liked it. Arranging many Japonica branches one by one was wonderful meditation for me. I hope many people will experience that through Ikebana. I also hope that many will visit our Ikebana exhibition at Abbotsford convent on 8 & 9 October.    


Friday, 2 September 2016

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Ikebana Today 49

I’d like to mention another difference between Ikebana and contemporary art. Contemporary art has an academic foundation. This is related to its broad range of critics and the rich variety of contexts -  which I have already discussed.  As a result, it seems that contemporary artists, particularly art teachers in universities, are required to be good at theory as well as practice.

As far as I know, however, very few artists are good at both theory and practice. Some artists create wonderful works but their theses are rather disappointing. We also have to be aware that art practice has become hard to define since the modern art promoted the idea that art can be made from any media. 

But in principle, practice-based research seems to be a major approach that regards creating art as a type of research seeking a new insight. 

On the other hand, Ikebana is easy, in the sense that what matters is only practice. All that is required to become a teacher is to be good at practice. Although theory may be required under certain conditions, its is rather limited in terms of academic depth.

Is it possible to develop theory or academic aspects in Ikebana? That may be one of the missions for the International Society of Ikebana Studies. Its journals and some of the books by its members are now a part of the Monash university library collection. Ikebana could become more interesting.

The image is the work I created for Ikebana performance in May this year. I kept working for 40 minutes while Shakuhachi and Koto players performed live music. 

In August there will be announcement of the Ikebana Gallery Award, and in October we will have an Ikebana Exhibition: Wa in Abbotsford Convent. Please visit my website for the details.   


Monday, 1 August 2016

Opening of a New Japanese Cafe

Shoso created an Ikebana display for a New Japanese Cafe opening on 3 August 2016 at 35 Smith St, Fitzroy.  


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Semi Finalists for Ikebana Gallery Award 2016

The Ikebana Gallery Award Committee is pleased to announce that the 15 works have been selected as semi-finalists. Five finalists will be selected shortly from these semi-finalists and will be sent to our special judges. 

On our Facebook page, please tell us your favourite works. Please LIKE at least 3 (3 or more)works  among the 15 works in the album by 10 August 2016. The most popular work will receive the People's Choice Award 2016. Please vote from the following Facebook page. 




Thursday, 21 July 2016

Friday, 15 July 2016

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Monday, 11 July 2016

Ikebana Today 48

I have been thinking about Ikebana and contemporary art for some time. There are many contemporary artworks that use flowers as media. However, I often felt that they were not using flower as Hana (flower). Many Ikebana practitioners would agree with what I feel. Some may even say that they are not using flower to express their love for flowers or that their flowers as are not alive. But such criticisms tend to be too shallow.

How can I explain the difference in the ways Ikebana artists and contemporary artists use flowers in their artworks? What is the Ikebana way of using flowers? After all I had to think about the definition of Ikebana and wrote a paper, Flowers in Contemporary Art, which was published in the International Journal of Ikebana Studies, Vol. 3. I analysed the artworks using flowers by three contemporary artists, Andy Goldsworthy, Sarah Sze, and Anya Gallaccio. I’ll write some of my findings here in the coming issues. If you found it interesting, please visit my site for summary of my paper. Further, if you would like to buy a copy of the journal please visit the site of International Society of Ikebana Studies (http://www.ikebana-isis.org).

I would like to show my work commissioned by Japan Foundation this month. I made this work for the Snow Travel Expo in Melbourne. Being challenged to use a new style with many restrictions was very hard but extremely rewarding. 


Thursday, 30 June 2016

New Publication: Flowers in Contemporary Art

Shoso Shimbo's new article was published.
Shimbo, Shoso (2015). Flowers in Contemporary Art: From an Ikebana Perspective, International Journal of Ikebana Studies, 3, 11-19.

This essay considers similarities and differences between contemporary art using flowers as medium, and Ikebana. It investigates strategies used by contemporary artists dealing with flowers, and comments on the dearth of discourse on flowers in Ikebana. This essay focuses on works by three contemporary artists, Andy Goldsworthy, Sarah Sze and Anya Gallaccio. Flowers in their works are analysed in three ways: as a medium, in intrinsic context and in extrinsic context. While in some aspects contemporary artists who use flowers in their work demonstrate a proximity to Ikebana  for instance emphasising their ephemeral nature  contemporary artists use flowers as signifiers within intrinsic and extrinsic contexts too, perhaps framing flowers as nonsignificant everyday objects, or references to the feminine in art history.

How to obtain a copy of International Journal of Ikebana Studies (IJIS)
IJIS is currently available only in hard copy. It costs 1000 Yen plus postage. (IJIS will be available online sometime soon).  



Monday, 20 June 2016