Monday 2 March 2015

Ikebana Today 33

In the Muromachi period it seems that a new style of Ikebana, known as ikebana, claimed that it gave new life to flowers, unlike tatehana, the main style of Ikebana at the time. What does it mean to give new life?

New life probably means an artistic or symbolic life rather than a biological life. The claim may mean that ikebana revives flowers by transforming them into an art work that expresses a sense of life. Such an interpretation is convincing, but it seems to be a bit superficial to me.   

What does this new life in ikebana really mean? I may be asking about the essence of ikebana and Ikebana. Although there have been some attempts to answer this question in the history of Ikebana studies, they are not really convincing.  

My first quest is to find out what life is in the Japanese cultural context. How did the people of the time perceive life? Is there any basic concept that prevails in Japanese history? “Yes, there is” is the answer from Hideo Kobayashi, a well-known literary critic from last century.     

This month I would like to show you my work for Koko restaurant in Crown Hotel. They have been a regular client during New Year for many years. Clients’ needs come first for any commercial flowers. My work has to be safe and convenient to move around. Because of many conditions my work tend to be similar every year. However, I have experimented with a few new design elements this time. 

Im planning to exhibit my work at the Melbourne Flower Show in March and give a paper at a conference of the International Society of Ikebana Studies in Kyoto. Please visit my site for the details