Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Japanese Traditionalist

"After the Japanese tsunami and earthquake of March 2011, Ayumi Ikushima's Kyoto tour company lost dozens of foreign visitors. Ayumi, a specialist in the Japanese traditional garden and Ikebana, started catering to local visitors. In her own words, she explains the Japanese spirit, the balance of all things, and how the passing of time renews all."

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Kokedama Inspiration

I saw a few of these moss balls with plants outside houses in Kyoto on my Japan trip earlier this year. I get such peace in mind by watching them. Have a look and get inspired.

The guy who made the kokedama designs in this video also has a blog with more great pictures. Check out Le Midori Design.

Have a look at this video if you want to try making your own kokedama:

And here is a tutorial in English (Thanks Che'usa for sharing).

Sunday, 19 August 2012

On Opposite Sides of the Milky Way

Finally I've got to upload some pictures from my ikebana installation at Kunstland. The location is a room in a dark timber barn, and the theme of the installation is inspired by the Japanese star festival, Tanabata. This time I've used plant materials that can be found in Norwegian forests.

Weave of grass and linen thread.
Tin containers on a styrofoam platform.

Tanabata is celebrated in the summer. The legend tells of a princess who wove beautiful fabrics. Her father, the sky-god, loved the fabrics, and she worked hard every day to weave more. But because she worked so hard, she never got out to meet people. Her father was upset when he saw her so sad, and he introduced her to a shepherd. The two fell in love immediately and married. But suddenly the weaver stoped making fabrics and the shepherd let the animals wander freely. The sky-god became so angry that he put them on either side of a river (the Milky Way) and forbade them to see each other. This made his daughter so sad that he finally gave in and let them see each other one day in the year. This is the day when the Tanabata is celebrated.

Birch branches, Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria),
Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia) and Canadian Goldenrod (Solidago).

The Legend of Tanabata can be interpreted as a story about the fear of separateness and isolation, and the hopes and expectations of fellowship. On opposite sides of the Milky Way - the notion of 'real life' and lived life as it is.

In this installation the weave has become a Milky Way that maintains the division, while building a bridge and creating new opportunities.

The distinction between 'real life' and lived life as it is emerges, for example, as the tension between town and country, or the dichotomy between culture and nature. A more recent phenomenon is the dichotomy 'virtual reality' (computer created artificial environment) and 'IRL' (in real life). The World Wide Web (www) and the Milky Way are somewhat overlapping images, they bind together and they isolate.

On rare occasions what has been kept separate meet and unite.

Photos: Svein G. Josefsen
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