Flowers have always been an import element in everyday life and over the past years, Japanese Botanical Artist Makoto Azuma has pushed the envelope and caught the art world’s attention with his floral installations.
Azuma’s approach to flowers as art is simply extraordinary. If you don’t know his work, you might think about flowers arrangements in the traditional Ikebana sense but Azuma stands far from that spot. He is constantly on the quest to explore new ways of viewing nature, creating new possibilities for flowers and pushing the boundaries of this unusual form of art.
“Iced Flowers” was held in a warehouse in Ogose, Saitama Prefecture. Ogose is around 2 hours away from Tokyo or the equivalent of taking 2 metros, 2 trains and 1 taxi to get there!
After entering the abandoned warehouse, I was overwhelmed with the quiet beauty. Three rows of ice blocks, each one cradling bright coloured flowers bouquets or pine trees. A frozen landscape addressing the contrasts between the sturdy building and the ephemeral life of flowers and ice, between artificiality and nature, between the vibrant flowers and the withering to death process inside the ice.
“This exhibition presents “ICED FLOWERS”, a work to observe the changing life of flowers that are locked in ice. Flowers will show unique expressions that they do not display in everyday life, by placed under such a different environment. Please enjoy how flowers and ice change themselves over time in the ruins far from human’s existence – it is an inorganic space that makes a vivid contrast with flowers”. (Extract from the Official Website)
In some cases, flowers were making their way out through the melting ice and you could see the petals emerging.
I could have spent hours admiring the delicate universe inside the ice… frost, icicles, diamonds, stars and flakes in every petal, stem and leaf.
One last pic… yes, that’s me with Azuma-san… Can you see my happy face? I was in heaven.
“The duty of the arts is not to imitate nature, but to express it.” ∼ Balzac
I’d like to thank Makoto Azuma for taking the time to talk with me and to his staff for their assistance… ありがとうございます!
All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise noted. If you see something you’d like to share, please be sure to provide a link back to this space. Thank you!