Monday, 18 August 2014

Tea Ceremony in the Opera House

Chinese soprano Hui He plays the role of Butterfly in Puccini's Opera Madama Butterfly at the Opera House in Oslo this season. The building itself is a quite famous sculptural complex by Snøhetta architects, well worth a visit.

To add to the experience of Madama Butterfly the Opera announced an open Tea Ceremony  gathering this weekend. I was lucky to get a good seat and it all turned out to be a beautiful collaboration of music and tea ceremony. One of the violinists of the Opera Orchestra, Yukiko Mikami, introduced the themes from Japanese music in the Madama Butterfly and talked about Puccini's interpretation of them.

The Tea Ceremoni was demonstrated elegantly by Yasuko Oki from the Omotesenke school. Yasuko Oki is also a florist, with an exam from Mami flower design school in Japan, and had made a refreshing summer arrangement with floating flowers for the ceremony.

It's so nice meeting new people and extend the network of people engaged in Japanese arts. I'll definitely watch out for more opportunities to meet both Yukiko Mikami and Yasuko Oki.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

How to Make a Flower Vase - Bamboo Cylinder

Since I've been posting about bamboo vases and traditional Seika arrangements recently I came to think about this video that I saw on YouTube a while ago. Master bamboo artist, Shosai Tanaka from Iwaki, Fukushima in Japan explains how to make a flower vase. Starting with mr Tanaka looking for  good stocks of bamboo in the forest, this video also shows how the stocks are prepared before they are ready for use. As with all great artists, the techniques mr Tanaka is using looks simple and quick. I'm not so sure it's as simple as it looks - but it sure makes me want to try.

If anyone has a good resource on how to cut a rectangular window in-between two nodes, to create a vase with two openings, I'd be interested in hearing from you. If you could post a comment or send me a message that would be of great help.

I hope I've inspired you to try and make your own vase, please let me know how it goes!

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