Sunday, 4 November 2012

Land Art - Keita Kawasaki

I'm planning to do some research on ikebana artists who are approaching land art from an ikebana tradition. If you like you're welcome to join me on this educational trip. I'll also swing by some well known land art artists who's works can be seen as similar or related to land art ikebana.

First stop is the Japanese flower artist Keita Kawasaki. He's a well known personality in Japan and has been working creatively with flowers for more than 20 years. The Kawasaki family runs the Mami Flower Design School, founded in 1962 by Mami Kawasaki.

Although also working with ikebana, Keita Kawasaki is definitely not a traditional ikebana artist. I would say he is merging Japanese and western flower design, keeping a clearly Japanese attitude to flower art. The inheritance from ikebana tradition is obvious also in his land art projects. I have chosen two works that I like. The first is a very delicate work with spiderweb, yellow and orange autumn leaves and what looks like parts of flower buds or small berries. From an ikebana perspective I would say this is a line and mass arrangement. It also relates to hanging ikebana, which is an old traditional category of ikebana. The use of spiderweb is similar to the use of mesh and other untraditional materials in modern ikebana.

The second work that I have chosen is a work with bamboo forest and yellow leaves. The leaves are glued to the bamboo trunks so that a zigzag pattern appears when you're standing in front of the work. The zigzag line emphasizes the straight lines of the bamboo forest and plays with the light in between the trunks. Bamboo is a traditional ikebana material that symbolizes strength of character. Working with lines and the space between lines is one of the main characteristics of ikebana. Classical ikebana made for the tokonoma is always designed to be seen from the front only.

To see more land art ikebana go to the website of Keita Kawasaki. Click on the beetle to enter. Then click the large leave to the right where it says "Works". Choose the category in Japanese to the right of "Natural art". Sit back and enjoy. You'll find a lot of inspirational photos here, and quite a few land art works.

Photo credit:


lena baibikov said...

Dear Lennart, thank you for the interesting post and a very inspiring blog!! I just would like to draw your attention to a misspelling of the artist name - it's KEITA not Kieta.
I also shared this entry on my facebook, I hope you do not mind

nordic lotus said...

Thanks for pointing this out Lena. I'm glad you discovered the misspelling so that I could make it right. Japanese names are not my strongest point, but I'm working on it and I aim to learn.

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