Floral sculptor and inventor of “botanical sculpture”; Azuma Makoto’s new exhibition features a bonsai tree making its way around the world. The little tree, strapped in a cube, is photographed in different landscapes, each more extravagant than the other. The metal cube creates an industrial irregularity in these organic photos, an irregularity that reminds us of its artificial creating process.
The exhibition is named Shiki: Landscape and Beyond and is held at Zhulong Gallery in Dallas, USA from October 23rd to December 5th. It consists of photographs of the journey and the actual tree that is placed in the middle of the room. The photos have been taken by Makoto’s collaborator Shunsuke Shiinoki, who has been accompanying Makoto and the tree for almost ten years.
Part of what makes this exhibition so interesting is the never before seen combination of a tree and the unnatural environments for it. Under water, in a desert and amongst the clouds; a bonsai that has been to these places can indeed be called special. The photographs have a magical illusion around them, even if we in our modern age can understand how they have been made. To conclude: the colours are amazing, the tree adorable and the idea impressive! With this project, Makoto passes on the traditions of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangements, to the next generation.
Photos: Courtesy of Zhulong Gallery and Azuma Makoto