Of all Japan’s traditional arts, perhaps the most famed and actively practised today is ‘Ikebana’ (ike - water, bana - plant material), the art of flower arrangement. The Sogetsu Study Group, Chennai, organised the ‘Exhibition of Ikebana Floral Arrangements’ from February 22-24, 2013. First originated in Buddhist temples, it has now entered our home and hotel lobby. Basically, an Ikebana arrangement follows a fixed pattern, a triangle of three lines different in length representing Heaven, Earth and Man. Ikebana exemplifies the harmony between these.
Malathi Pandurangan, chairperson, Sogetsu Study Group, Chennai, said Ikebana is an art and not a piece of decoration.
In this year’s exhibition, each arrangement attempts to display line, naturalism or free expression to bring out the beauty beyond the materials used. A wide variety of containers and materials are also on display. Ikebana art concepts like colour, form, texture, rhythm are exhibited.
Not all plants can be used for this art. Plants which can endure 3-4 days in water are chosen, cut and displayed. The plants survive in water without any chemical nutrients added to it. They are set in ceramic, metal and improvised containers. In this exhibition, regional plants such as Vinca rosea, Euphorbia tirucalli and spider lily were used. The water is changed every three days and the stem is cut to enhance water absorption.
But a major drawback is the scarcity of flowers. The flowers are mostly bought from Ooty and Bangalore and flowers imported from foreign countries are very expensive. Despite these setbacks, Ikebana flourishes in many countries owing to the passion of people and is always a visual treat to nature-lovers.
Ashakeerthi K S
Sharon Sylvia R