Azuma Makoto is a florist who converts the inherent mystery of flowers and plants into artistic expressions with Ikebana, an ancient Japanese art of flower arranging.
Creating unusual botanical sculptures and arrangements, using all kinds of plants, flowers and organic material, Azuma is able to stage Mother Nature like no other. The artist describes himself as being able to feel the ‘blood’ of the plant beat beneath the surface and show a clear celebration of the untamed quality of nature, and liberates flowers from twig arrangements and vases.
Now at age of 29, he has already collaborated with a number of big names like Sony, Colette, Hermès, adidas, Cartier, Issey Miyake and owns a boutique-workshop called ‘Jardins des Fleurs’ in Tokyo .
In 2009 he founded the experimental laboratory Azuma Makoto Botanical Research Institute (AMKK) to expand his artistic activities and push the boundaries of artistic floral display. This work has seen him create botanical sculptures which have been exhibited worldwide since 2005. Recent exhibitions include ‘Distortion & Flowers’ and his botanical sculptures are continually evolving.
As a tribute to Emile Gallé, and influenced by Japanese art and the anemone flower motif that appeared throughout the Art Nouveau period, Azuma also redesigned the Floral Edition of the iconic Belle Epoque Champagne bottle for Perrier-Jouët (see video below) which had not changed since 1902. In his book “Encyclopedia of Flowers” (released in English by Lars Müller), Azuma works with his business partner Shiinoki, a botanical photographer, in order to visually explore his floral arrangements. More than 2,000 flower species are featured in this extraordinary book.
Rearticulating some of Japan’s most traditional art forms, Azuma breathes new life into the disciplines. In doing so, he forces the viewer to see these saturated objects in a new light, and releases the raw beauty from their natural forms. Watch flower design become pure magic below!
More images & information about all the projects can be viewed on the Azuma Makoto facebook page or on the website.