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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Ikebana Today 51

I have been writing about the differences between Ikebana and contemporary art. I pointed out that their differences are similar to the differences between haiku and a novel. If we compare Ikebana to haiku, and contemporary art to the novel, we would have a better understanding of the two genres. Before I start to talk about that, however, I had better mention how flowers have been regarded in the history of Western art. Such knowledge would help us to understand my argument on Ikebana and haiku.  

Bencard (2004) stated, “Ever since antiquity still-life pictures, including flower paintings, have been considered a low-status art genre. Flower pictures were disdained because they were the opposite of history painting, which topped the genre-hierarchy of the art academies.” While history paintings narrate something, flower paintings just depict something. While history painters had to have good ideas, knowledge and imagination, flower painters could paint from nature without thinking about anything. While history painting was considered real art, enjoying the status of inapproachable high culture, flower painting was regraded as craftsmanship, easily accessible, popular, even kitschy.     

Such a stereotyped opposition determined for centuries people’s view on flower paintings. It may influence our view of floral art, including Ikebana even today. But in the 19th century the genre hierarchy of the art academies broke down with the rise of the Impressionism.

What I want to emphasise here is the values in Western art. It seems that they valued meaning and something intellectual in art work, while being simply beautiful or high craftsmanship was not valued so much. I may mention in the future that gaining high craftsmanship was highly regarded as a result of personal development in the East. Nevertheless, I am now ready to move to the discussion of the similarity between Ikebana and haiku. 

This is a work I made for Chotto, 35 Smith St, Fitzroy. The newly opened Japanese cafe is so popular that they often have to close early, due to having sold out of all the food.

This month we will have an Ikebana exhibition at Abbotsford convent on 8 & 9 October. www.facebook.com/wa.ikebana

Bencard, E. J. (2004), Some questions for flora, The Flower as Image. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: Denmark.      


Sunday, 9 October 2016

Thursday, 6 October 2016

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