Melbourne Ikebana Festival, 7 and 8 September

Thursday 21 March 2013

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2013 - 2/2

Artist Statement - MIFGS 2013

From it's very beginnings, the relationship between people and the environment has been central issue in Ikebana. 

Ikebana arrangements are in a sense a symbolic representation of the harmony that can be achieved between people and nature. However it is becoming more and more clear that we cannot achieve harmony with nature without changing our behavior. 

This work, Meditation on Nature, explores the idea of our changing relationship with nature. The abstract forms of the floating bamboo balls and the flowing split bamboo framing the beauty of the floral work suggest the possibility of a rethinking of our interaction with nature.


Become a sponsor of Shoso to promote your business to over 100,000 visitors to the show. Please contact Shoso by October to discuss several options. Alternatively, you can just leave your advertising materials or business cards in front of our display. We will contact you later. But this is an expensive option.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2013 - 1/2

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2013 opened from 20 - 24 March. We worked from 8am to 7pm for 3 days to make a six-metre display. The first photo is taken at the end of day 1, and the second one at the end of day 2. The third one is the completed work on 20 March.

My students of Ikebana worked very hard for this project. Thank you Kaori Okui, Risa Yoshimoto, Angeline Lo and Jo Greenthaner.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Ikebana Today 9

A common factor in Japanese traditional art forms is the value placed on traditional forms. New creation is always based on tradition. 

Attitudes to tradition vary in Ikebana. Some schools are very strict about learning traditional forms, others encourage students to create free styles after learning basic forms. In general, however, Ikebana is, unlike the tea ceremony or noh theatre, a malleable art, allowing for change in form easily.

Historically, people who advocated new styles in Ikebana would be soundly criticised  Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that there have always been radical innovators who revitalize and make Ikebana bloom. 

In previous issues, I talked about the Ikebana boom in the Edo period. The most recent boom which occurred after the war was actually the greatest boom in Ikebana history. Ikebana became the most popular hobby among Japanese people. The socio-cultural backgrounds of the people taking up Ikebana in such numbers seem to be quite complicated and nobody has ever looked into the phenomena closely. To understand them, we may need to investigate the fundamental characters of Japanese culture. Such an investigation may suggest some insights into the current declining state of Ikebana. 

While the popularity of Ikebana in Edo period was related to the invention of Seika style, that in Showa period was probably related to Free style. Free style movement advocated to arrange flower freely without following traditional rules. 

 Suido Yamane (1893-1966) was the first to advocate free style Ikebana and Sofu Teshigahara (1900-79) established it and made it very popular. Both of them were radical renovators and consequently were criticised heavily. In the next issue, I’ll talk a bit about how much they were hated in Ikebana world. 

This is the work I made for our group exhibition at Kings Arcade, Armadale. Exhibiting Ikebana works in public is important in terms of promoting Ikebana and providing students with a great learning experience. I also hope to promote the kind of flower culture that we can find in Japan. Compared to Australia, there are so much more opportunities to see flower arrangements in Japan. I hope there will be more flower related events here. Please see our students’ exhibition on YouTube. There are links to the videos on my site.