Tuesday 31 December 2013

Sogetsu ikebana demonstration video New Year

Since it's New Year's Eve I'm posting a short video today. If you have read my blog you know that I have posted several demonstration videos with Sogetsu ikebana teacher Megumi Schacher. In this video she uses traditional New Year's materials to create an ikebana for a happy and prosperous year.

I will also take this opportunity to send my best wishes for 2014. May some of our good hopes be fulfilled!

Sunday 29 December 2013

Holiday Cinema 3: Ikebana Flower Arrangement - Kasumi Teshigahara

This 20-minute TV documentary from Japanese NHK World features a step-by-step demonstration by Kasumi Teshigahra, 2nd iemoto of the Sogetsu school. She gives a beautiful and easy to follow demonstration of how to work with Moribana arrangements in shallow containers and Nagiere arrangements in a tall vase. The styles she shows are Moribana basic upright style and Nageire upright variation no. 2.

Kasumi Teshigahara, the daughter of and successor to Sofu, started her career as an ikebana artist after World War II, her style being elegant, feminine and dynamic.

This hard to get documentary was probably made in the 1970s. It was uploaded to the YouTube by Art of East and West.

A Must See - Ikebana (1956) by Hiroshi Teshigahara

Next in my Holiday Cinema showing rare ikebana related videos is a real must see, Ikebana (1956) by Hiroshi Teshigahara. This is one of Hiroshi Teshigahara's earliest short films, 32 minutes long.

Synopsis from IMDb:
"Traces the history of ikebana, flower arranging: its origins, its formalization 500 years ago, the emergence of the rikka or standing flower style with its heaven-earth-man trinity, and the influence of Rikyu's simplicity. Enter the modern era, embodied at the Sogetsu School, where flower arranging is taught alongside modern sculpture and pottery. We visit a weekend class of flower arranging with novice and experienced students evaluated by a master, Sofu Teshigahara, the director's father. Then we watch the master prepare for his annual one-man show. If life is an unceasing spiritual journey, says the narrator, then art gives us the courage to go on."
The narrator's voice is in Japanese, but it has English subtitles, at least if you're watching in web version (I had problems with the subtitles on the mobile version). It has a very surrealistic sound track, and special effects attempting to abstractly visualize what goes on in an ikebana artist’s mind while arranging. What more can you ask for?

Uploaded to YouTube by Giorgos Efthimiou.

Friday 27 December 2013

Holiday Cinema 1: The Art and Meaning of Ikebana (1973)

Christmas and New Year is a time for festivities, but also for slowing down. I thought it would be fun to invite you to my Holiday Cinema and show some rare and interesting ikebana related videos. Relax, sit down in your favorite chair with a nice cup of tea and put your feet up!

First out is The Art and Meaning of Ikebana, a 27-minute film made in 1973 by Sakura Motion Picture and presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. This video looks at ikebana practice and relates it to to other aspects of Japanese culture. It shows beautiful interiors and also gives a nice background to ikebana:
"The history of ikebana has its origins in ancient times when people expressed their faith in flowers. Even today a branch of the sakaki tree, an evergreen, is offered to the shrine. The ancient Japanese believed that a devine spirit was present in all growing trees and plants. ... It was in the early years of the 6th century that Buddhism was introduced to Japan. People began to make floral offerings to Buddha. This was the begining of ikebana, in which the peoples antient faith in flowers was combined with the Buddhist idea of Paradise."
Towards the end you'll see Sofu Teshighara working on a large scale arrangement with driftwood and pine, and finally his daughter Kasumi Teshigahara arranging white Camelias, I think location is the old Sogetsu Kaikan from 1958. Enjoy!

This video was uploaded to YouTube at the Art of East and West channel.

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Best Wishes for the Holiday Season

I'd like to thank all of my readers and contacts through 2013
wishing you all a happy holiday season.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Christmas Ikebana By Megumi

One of my new discoveries in 2013 is the demonstration video series by Seattle based Sogetsu ikebana teacher Megumi Schacher. In this video she makes a Christmas arrangement in a tall vase, using a silver painted Allium Schubertii. Pay attention to the depth of the arrangement that comes from tilting materials both to the front and to the rear.

See more videos by Megumi through this link.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Christmas at Sogetsu, Tokyo

In this time of Christmas preparations I want to share with you this weeks ikebana arrangement from the Japanese room at Sogetsu Headquarters in Tokyo. The artist is Katei Motoe and the materials used are coloured wood, root, Poinsettia, Chinese holly, and Easter lily.

The arrangements in the Japanese room are changed regularely and posted on the Sogetsu website, and also on their Facebook page. On the website there is also an archive with previous arrangements. Lots of goodies - enjoy!

Photo: Sogetsu Foundation

Sunday 8 December 2013

Christmas Ikebana Exhibition

I took some photos at the opening of the exhibition "Japanese Days – a different kind of Christmas celebration" today. It's soon Christmas and a few new ideas can come in handy. The last ikebana (detail) with red chili pepper Santa's hats is by Helga Johanne Fjer Lindland. The other arrangements are all by Lisbeth Lerum.

The exhibition runs until December 21th at Nesodden Community Centre.

Friday 6 December 2013

Japanese Days – a different kind of Christmas celebration

Don't miss the opening of the Christmas exhibition at Nesodden community Center tomorrow, Saturday December 7th, at 1.15 pm. The exhibition "Japanese Days – a different kind of Christmas celebration" features ikebana by Lisbeth Lerum, Japanese woodblock prints, kimonos and lacquerwork from the collection of Knut Myrer, and origami by Pakistani Norwegian Ajaz Ul Haq.

At the opening you can listen to traditional Japanese music for mukkuri and koto, performed by Svein Westad and Liv Lande. Japanese and Asian food will be available in the venue’s Café. There will also be an Origami workshop by Ajaz Ul Haq.

The exhibition is arranged in cooperation with The Embassy of Japan and will be on display until December 21th at Tangenten, Nesodden community Center, Nesoddtangen.

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