In nature, everything has its place and a reason to exist. It is not chaotic. The human mind treats nature as disorderly and imposes culture in an attempt to bring order. Frightening “forests” are domesticated into “docile” gardens, rivers converted to canals.
Ikebana is a cultural construct, popularly and “insufficiently” translated as flower arrangement an art form which aims to bring order/arrangement to natural flowers, a medium to express thoughts by the artist. I love to visit the Meguro Gajoen ikebana exhibition, check the images below of what you can expect to see there.The word “Ike” means “bring to life”, is actually a journey an artist goes through appreciating nature as the artist creates his composition which is usually done in silence an important spiritual aspect of Ikebana. The artist “brings” the flowers to life by giving his/her ideas a form expressed through arrangement. Seen in isolation without understanding the artists idea it is flower arrangement, which when supplemented with the creators thought gives it meaning, allows it to communicate, in a way is brought to life, as the word “Ike” in Ike-bana.
Personally translating Ike-bana to “flower arrangement” is doing injustice to the fuller meaning of this art work…I went to the Ikebana exhibition at the Meguro Gajoen and even before I got inside, there was an “ikebana” construction at the gate itself, Sakura flowers emphasizing the transient nature of all things in our world.
I had got three tickets and me and family visited this exhibition in March, but will be running through this weekend until May of 2015. The location Meguro Gajoen, Hundred step Stairway, Hyakudan Kaidan at Meguro! The exhibition has been conducted annually over decades with prominent guests like the Royal Family of England also paying a visit to see the artistic expressions.
Honestly speaking photography was not allowed at the campus, but we got to take a few snapshots on the smartphone, so no high quality shots, just some glimpses of the exhibition are below.
These snaps were taken with care not to make noise of the shutter on the iPhone and although some of the staff did notice me taking the snaps, they were cool with that. Ensured that I did not overdo it…
Ikebana minimalism on display at the exhibition. The contrast of colors was really well captured. As a photographer I was beginning to feel uncomfortable holding my DSLR but not able to take a snap. This article is just a few snaps from the smartphone and that’s about it. The overall expressions at the exhibition should be seen in person and this is a high recommend with the artists also ready to engage in conversations explaining their art. A should not miss event for me.
Meguro Gajoen is a place full of art and below are a few depictions on the walls of the facility showcasing everyday life in Edo Japan! Wish I was born in those days.. thrilling thought but yeah would have been very insecure times too with warlords and clans frequently clashing for power….