Melbourne Ikebana Festival, 7 and 8 September

Sunday 22 October 2017

Contemporary Sculpture Award for Shoso

Shoso Shimbo won the Arnold Bloch Leibler Prize 2017 - $5,000 at 17th Annual Yarra Valley Arts / Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition & Awards.  

Visit beautiful Yering Station by 5 December 2017 to see Shoso's work, Whale's Stomach as well as wonderful sculptures by Australia's top contemporary artists. Don't forget to vote for your favourite sculpture - RACV People's Choice Award. 

Shoso's Statement:  

In 2017 a dying whale was found in Norway with over 30 plastic bags in its stomach. The interior of this sculpture is created from plastic waste that is often found in oceans. This work serves as a reminder of how damaging human impact on the environment can be.


Tuesday 17 October 2017

Daily Meditation: Events Calendar

22 October until 5 December 2017: Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition 2017. Shoso’s work was selected for the show.

25 October 2017: A new term of Japanese Aesthetics starts at RMIT.

29 October 2017: Salvos community fundraising through Ikebana at Kazari, 450 Malvern Rd, Prahran.

25 November 2017: Ikebana Workshop at Made in Japan, South Melbourne. 

17 March to 2 April 2018: Lorne Sculpture Biennale. Shoso was selected for the biennale.

30 March 2018: Shoso will conduct an Ikebana demo as a featured presenter at the Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2018, The International Academic Forum, Kobe, Japan.

21 September to 6 November 2018: Biennale of Australian Art. Shoso was selected for the biennale.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Ikebana Today 63

Mirei Shigemori’s assertion that flowers are nothing more than materials for self expression influenced such major Ikebana schools as Sogetsu and Ohara that gained great popularity after the war. To recognise how innovative this statement was, as well as how radically it was different to how flowers were seen before, we need to look into the origin of Ikebana.

Yutaka Tuchihashi (1990) states that Ikebana developed from the ancient custom of Hanami (flower viewing) by way of establishment of the Rikka style Ikebana. The aim of Hanami seems to be gaining vital force by viewing flowers, in particular Spring blossoms. 

In Japanese the word, hana (flower) also means with a different intonation nose, which is the contact point to the outside. Flower can be taken to mean, therefore, the contact point of this world to the outside, the sacred world.    

In the ancient Japan, people also took a branch of blossom from the fields and put it in the rice paddocks. They intended to transplant the nature’s life force, that sacred energy, to the paddock wishing for abundant crops. Their attitudes to flower suggest fetishism and manaism. 

We can assume that flower was regarded as something full of life force. Its energy was also seen as something mysterious, sacred and contagious. Importantly it also revitalised our souls. Such was the notion of flowers underlying in the development of Ikebana. 

Therefore, Shigemori’s teachings denied not just Ikebana as a spiritual training but also Japanese traditional attitudes to flower. We need to further reconsider his attitude, which was influenced by the Western Modernism, from a historical point of view. Do we still need to follow his teachings in the era of Post Modernism?     

The image is one of a small works I made for the exhibition of Tomokazu Matsuyama at Lesley Kehoe Galleries, 101 Collins St, Melbourne. I used subdued colours to work with colourful works by Mr Matsuyama.

October is a busy month for me. On 7th and 8th we will hold Wa: Ikebana exhibition at the Abbotsford convent. This is the third annual exhibition by Ikenobo, Ichiyo and my students of Sogetsu school. 

From 22nd, my sculptural work will be exhibited at Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition. I’m pleased that my environmental sculpture was selected for this show. Both sites are great to visit. 

From 25th, my course, Japanese Aesthetics: From Ikebana to contemporary art will start at the RMIT Short Courses.