“Creating a flower bouquet is first and foremost an extremely egoistic act. Only flowers that have grown in the wild are beautiful enough; for all that – cut from their roots, their branches removed – they are freely bound with completely different specimens. I have spent more than fifteen years dedicating each day to this activity, looking, without interruption and singularly focused, at the close proximity of life and death. By rough estimate I’ve probably cut over a hundred million flowers into pieces. There is a beauty to flowers and there are those who are charmed by that beauty. But my engagement with flowers is more of a confrontation, as I clutch at our two lives rubbing together. Moment after moment, as flowers continue to wither as I arrange them, my consciousness focuses intensely on one point alone: to what extent I can draw out the life of the flower and make it conspicuous, bringing it to life by killing it. That is the fate imposed upon my profession.”
Makoto Azuma, florist and artist – intro from “Encyclopedia of flowers”
We have our fair share of world-renowned artistic florists here in Belgium including Mark Colle from Baltimore in Antwerp, who wowed us all with his runway creations for the house of Dior, his flowers also regularly brighten up my apartment; and Thierry Boutemy who designed store windows for Opening Ceremony among others. But when I first laid eyes on a book called “Encyclopedia of Flowers” by Makoto Azuma, I knew I had found the ultimate combo between flower arrangements and art. He perfectly knows how to capture the fleeting moment of beauty that belongs to a dying flower. I invite you to discover all about Makoto’s projects on his website. And I’d like to share a few of my favorite things with you below. In January he launched his “Iced Flowers” sculpture exhibit, you can watch “the making of” at the bottom of this post. But you might also recognize his work from the Dries Van Noten expo that ran in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris last year and is now hosted by our very own Antwerp MOMU fashion museum. Dries chose to grace some rooms of his exhibition from head to toe in Makoto’s photo flower art. A fine choice, I’d say!
All photos from www.azumamakoto.com