Monday 13 June 2016

Stockholm: Bonsai & Ikebana - Living art of Japan

If you're in Stockholm this summer, don't miss out on the exhibition Bonsai and Ikebana - Living art of Japan, at Östasiatiska museet in Stockholm.

Get inspired by the growing power and aesthetics of living art from Japan. From June 17 encounter an evocative installation of ceramics, tools and the philosophy behind. From August 20, the exhibition is filled with Bonsai and Ikebana. See new arrangements emerge every Saturday at 13! Bonsai is the art of growing and shaping trees in containers. The art form arrived in Japan from China, where it is called penjing, meaning "potted scenery", or penzai, meaning "potted plant". Ikebana is the Japanese word for the art of arranging living flowers in different types of receptacles. Every part of the arrangement is significant. The emphasis on asymmetry and the void between the parts are fundamental.

In addition to the ikebana live sessions on Saturdays in August and September, there will also be ikebana demonstrations, an ikebana workshop for kids with teachers from the Sogetsu school, and an ikebana program for adults with the Ichiyo school.

The exhibition will run from 17 june to 2 October 2016. The ikebana related programs starts late August.

Friday 10 June 2016

Back From the Tea Room

Todays chabana
Spirea, grass, Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus across), Oxeye (Leucanthemum vulgar)
Bamboo basket

It's been a year long break from blogging. Amongst other things I've been concentrating on tea ceremony studies. Now I'm finally back from the tea room with renewed inspiration.

Tea ceremony, Chanoyu, and ikebana have many things in common. Both are considered contemplative art forms with long traditions in the history of Japan. Both have been highly influenced by zen philosophy. Both are meditative practices, appreciated and enjoyed around the world.

A special style of flower arrangement called Chabana is used in the tea room to integrate nature and the seasons into the tea gathering. While tea practitioners tends to emphasize the differences between ikebana and chabana, ikebana practitioners usually considers chabana to be a special style or category of ikebana.

Chabana is truly an art of the moment. A chabana arrangement is spontaneous and natural. Ideally the flowers are harvested around the tea house right before the tea gathering. This gives the flowers a fresh and local quality. Delicate flowers that last only until the tea ceremony is over are preferred, at least in theory.

I found the flowers for todays chabana outside the tea room of my teacher Marius Frøisland. Some of the buttercups didn't soak water too well and started hanging their heads as the class came to an end. Quite ideal from a chabana point of view.

Marius is an experienced tea practitioner and runs the blog Chado - Musing in the pine and the podcast Tea life audio. The podcast also has a Facebook page.

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