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Beauty - Page Text Content

S: Beauty - The Art of Ikebana

BC: "Ikebana can be created anytime, anywhere, by anyone in any part of the world, and with any kind of material." | Hiroshi Teshigahara (1927-2001) 3rd Iemoto, Sogetsu School, Japan

FC: Beauty The Art of Ikebana

1: for the love of Beauty

2: Hollis Ho 2012.Vancouver. BC. Canada

3: Introduction Beauty. Each day I am grateful for the beauty that graces my day. Beauty is almost always a companion to feelings of happiness or a sense of well-being. Today, for example, the birds were singing beautifully in the garden, in the afternoon, I attended a funeral service and the chanting in a foreign language was beautiful to listen to, and in the evening, I was in awe at the beauty of the orchids that grace my kitchen counter top. I am grateful for beauty, and, too, that I try not to let these moments of beauty pass unnoticed. I believe that all human beings "see" the beauty of nature - the trees, the flowers, the mountains, the ocean and sky. I do not think it an overstatement to infer that our human race has an inherent respect and love of the encompassing beauty of nature's incredulity - we are connected on many intricate levels. Our bodies are fueled by the bounties of nature, and our senses are filled with the aromas, the sounds, the touch, the taste, and, of course, the visual beauty. The Japanese reverence for nature and appreciation of beauty extends far back in history and is documented in many different art forms including the art of Ikebana -Japanese flower arranging. Ikebana is a uniquely Japanese art form, first conceived in Japan about 13 centuries ago. It is meant to symbolize certain Buddhist concepts, and early practitioners were Buddhist priests who brought flowers to the altar as an offering of nature to Buddha. Those early, basic concepts of sharing and offering nature's beauty to symbolize heaven, earth and man, together in harmony, are unchanged. Ikebana, today, has become recognized and appreciated throughout the world as an art form, and highly regarded for use of line and space, Ikebana is a disciplined art with a holistic approach, and a "way" to inner peace, joy and beauty. The Sogetsu School was formed in 1927 by the late Mr. Sofu Teshigahara. His innovative approach of working with natural and unconventional materials transformed the traditional concepts of Ikebana to encourage individual artistic expression. His philosophies and unconventional approach have expanded the reputation of the Sogetsu School to become a highly respected school, both in Japan and abroad. Sofu's domination in the Ikebana realm and visionary style were instrumental in raising the development of Ikebana to a recognized formative art form, and his many works expound his astonishing achievement for the success of Sogetsu worldwide.

5: There are several thousand different schools of Ikebana in Japan, and, in Vancouver, where I live, there are only five (5) practicing schools. I was unaware that there exists so many schools of Ikebana until after I enrolled to take classes, and am grateful that my study of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana was serendipitously the perfect personal match. I began to study Ikebana in 1990 under my dear Sensei, Mrs. Kiyoko Boycott, and, under her guidance, the world of Sogetsu opened my eyes and heart to the beauty of this Japanese art. I continue to study, and teach the art of Sogetsu Ikebana in my studio in Vancouver. During an interview by a curious reporter for a local newspaper on the subject of Ikebana for a feature article, the interviewer asked "What constitutes beauty in an Ikebana?" She wanted to know if it was the materials used, the conceptual design by the arranger, or, was beauty based on the correctness of the technique and principles of the school. My reply was that "beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder". The following pages in this book are a personal reflection, expressed through Ikebana. Each Ikebana is inspired in different ways - perhaps the location of where the Ikebana is placed, the occasion, the flowers, branch materials, or container, the season, my state-of-mind or perhaps, simply, the desire to engage in Ikebna to bring beauty to the day and to others. | Hollis Ho Vancouver, Canada | The Sogetsu School of Ikebana was formed in 1927 by the late Mr. Sofu Teshigahara. His innovative approach of working with natural and unconventional materials transformed the traditional concepts of Ikebana, and he encouraged individual artistic expression. His philosophies and unconventional ideas have expanded the scope and the reputation of the Sogetsu School to become a highly respected school both in Japan and abroad. Sofu Sensei's domination in the Ikebana realm and his visionary style were instrumental in raising the development of Ikebana as a formative art form.

6: Spring | Theme: Line and Mass Materials: pussy willow, tulip, camellia leaves

8: Summer | Theme: Reconstruction Materials: fatsia leaves, rose

10: Autumn | Variation No.6, Horizontal Style, Nageire Materials: acer palmatum, chrysanthemum

12: Winter | Theme: Two Containers Materials: fasciated willow, accordian palm, anthurium acropolis

14: Curved Lines & Intertwining Materials | Materials: salisx weeping willow, coconut grass, pin cushion protea

16: Exhibition Theme: Curved Lines & Dried Materials | Theme: Curved Lines: Materials: rattan, aspidistra leaves, anthurium terra

18: Exhibition | Theme: No Kenzan | Materials: acer maple, coconut grass, anthurium acropolis

20: Showing Lines at the Base | Materials: Acuba, calla lilies

23: "There is nothing that has a lifespan as long as plants. Some trees can grow to be more than 1500 years old. No other living thing can make claim to such longevity. Japanese folk lore says that cranes live 1000 and tortoises 10,000 years, but this is only wishful thinking. Even plants that seem gentle and meek must endure the hardships of blizzards and the unrelenting march of time. Plants have an extraordinary resilience concealed within. If we are attracted to the resilience of the roots and bulbs of old plants, then the transience of their flowers is also attractive. The work of Ikebana encompasses these two polar opposites, and we learn from nature's unfathomable beauty. The challenge of Ikebana is how to ultimately express that beauty." Sofu Teshigarhara (1900-1979) founder of Sogetsu School Tokyo, Japan

24: Using One Kind of Material | Materials: spirea bridal wreath

26: With Leaves Only | Materials: anthurium leaves, mahogany ti leaf, monstera leaf

28: Fresh & Unconventional Material | Materials: anthurium obake, electrical conduit

30: Exhibition Theme: Using Floor Space | Materials: phalaenopsis orchid, prunus kanzan cherry, wisteria vines, hawthorn branches

32: Exhibition Theme: Straight Lines & Using Fresh and Dried Materials | Materials: anthurium midori, coconut grass, dried and painted salix willow

34: No Kenzan | Materials: salix curly willow, pussy willow

36: Exhibition | Materials: prunus kanzan cherry, apple, anthurium terra, | Theme: Showing Lines at the base

38: Olympic Speed Skating Oval Richmond, B.C. Canada | On the auspicious occasion of the Royal visit by Emperor Akihito & Empress Michiko of Japan Sogetsu Vancouver Branch - group arrangement (Sensei Boycott, Greta Kos, Betty Tasaka, Sonoko Harada, Linda Achiam, Hollis Ho)

40: Curved and Straight Lines | Materials: Dracaena, chrysanthemum

42: demonstration & classroom

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  • By: Hollis H.
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  • Title: Beauty
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  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Updated: about 6 years ago