FOR THE SPECIAL EXHIBITION, SOGETSU SCHOOL OF IKEBANA HAD OKI SATO OF NENDO DESIGN A LARGE-SCALE INSTALLATION, ‘KALEIDOSCOPIC IVY,’ MADE OF 40,000 INTERLACED PIECES OF RHOMBUS-SHAPED STAINLESS STEEL.
Back in 1927, the year of the foundation of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, Sofu Teshigahara, its founder, set a different direction for the teaching of Japan’s ancient flower arrangement with the belief that the regulations and strict traditions of the art were obstacles of creative expression. Teshigahara reinterpreted Ikebana, which first originated in the 7th Century and was used as a part of Buddhist funerals, tea and other cultural ceremonies, through simplicity, humble beauty and nature in a more freestyle approach. Eliminated are the limitations in the presentational style with greater freedom being given to the choice of materials that goes beyond the conventional use of only flowers, sticks or natural grass as well as the places and occasions where an Ikebana piece can be located.
The fourth generation successor of Sogetsu, Akane Teshigahara, followed her ancestor’s rebellious spirit with her intention to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the school but in a different fashion. Normally, an Ikebana piece is created before the space is readjusted to correspond with the concept and aesthetic style of the work. ‘Hana So,’ an exhibition whose name translates to ‘firework,’ reverses the process by using the Sogetsu Plaza stone garden located on the first floor of the Sogetsu Foundation Headquarters as the subject matter for the creation of the Ikebana pieces.
For the special exhibition, Sogetsu School of Ikebana had Oki Sato of nendo design a large-scale installation, ‘Kaleidoscopic Ivy,’ made of 40,000 interlaced pieces of 0.5 mm.-thick rhombus-shaped stainless steel. The shards were scattered around the area with the surface of polished steel delivering an intriguing impact to the space, visually linking and reflecting the different textures of the several types of stone below and the Ikebana pieces installed around the exhibition grounds. The rendered effects are dynamically varied by the spots in which viewers stand and the enlivenment of the serene dry landscape of the Zen garden designed by architect Isamu Noguchi perfectly bespeaks and corresponds with the journey and philosophy of this long-standing Ikebana school.
TEXT: SUDAPORN JIRANUKORNSAKUL