Monday, 14 January 2013

Metal and Stones


"Zen Writing", metal strips, stones, dried Aspidistra leaf.

One of the specialities of the Sogetsu school is ikebana without flowers. When Sofu Teshigahara, first  headmaster and founder of the school, introduced zen-eibana or avant-garde ikebana it was a sensation and the talk of the town. Sofu felt that ikebana could be arranged with any kind of materials and should always be in dialogue with contemporary culture. At this time he was very fascinated with the modern European art movements, such as Cubism and Surrealsim. Sofu's son, Hiroshi Teshigahara, later said that one should only use flowers in ikebana when there is a need for it, and every single flower should  have a purpose. Because flowers are beautiful by nature they can easily make an arrangement too "pretty" or decorative. When that happens the ikebana arrangement will loose its strength. Now, that's an interesting and different perspective, isn't it?

When working with this metal strip material I felt attracted to its sweeping qualities. It also reminded me of the artistic paint brush strokes of Japanese calligraphy. That's how I came up with the idea that the metal could mimic an experience of intuitive zen writing. The dried Aspidistra leaf adds a reference to traditional ikebana.

3 comments:

nadia said...

I always enjoy your blog, thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is interesting how you compare metal to calligraphy, the use of different size metal strips is really like different brush stroke.
It is amazing !

nordic lotus said...

Thanks nadia for taking time to comment and for sharing. To me it made the connection between metal stripes and brush strokes more visual.

Stephen Coler said...

beautiful! i love the use of metal in this arrangement. great sence of movement!

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