A OTHERWORLDLY BOUQUET, AZUMA MAKOTO

Posted on September 9, 2014 by Luisa Fazio

Forget the ikebana art, the traditional wedding bouquet, lazy days spent to grow bonsai! Modern organic sculptures (with the addition of minimal inorganic materials) by Azuma Makoto, Japanese flower artist, are something more. Strong gladioli and delicate lilies give them character. Composition and decorum are two important ingredients for his always winning recipes. Difficulty: easy. Essential condition: a high amount of emotional attachment to flowers. In his studio-workshop in Minami-Aoyama district in Tokyo, he demonstrates every day his obsession and sensitivity towards beauty. He fixes any idea on a blackboard before realizing original projects while a background music calms the plants and helps him to find a way to bring out beauty and allure of vegetables. Amaryllis won’t be put in the pot but leaved suspended in a steel frame with bulb and roots in view. He also dips the bouquet in glass bottles filled with water where the flowers fade it, showing their veins, they float. Always fascinated by space, he is recovering from a unique experiment in plant ethology beyond their physiological respiration and photosynthesis. Operation Exobiotanica: from Black Rock Desert in Nevada he launched into the stratosphere – about 27,000 feet above the Earth’s surface – a pine-bonsai inside a super light metal frame and a spherical bouquet composed of about thirty different species of plants including lilies, hydrangeas, irises, orchids, tillandsia. He observed the reactions of flowers and plants outside the context of land. Makoto, in Japanese means “truth.” It is also the name of Azuma. Nomen omen, the destiny in his name which can be summarized in John Keats words: “Truth is beauty, beauty is truth” Makoto does not stop there. Next mission: Mars!