Ikebana, performativity and contemporary art
Ikebana, performativity and contemporary art: a talk with Takaya Fujii
Ikebana, the ancient Japanese tradition of floral arrangement, often surprises the viewer in its contemporary aesthetic, despite a history of many centuries. Far from being simply decorative, Ikebana challenges western conventions in composition, symmetry and sculptural balance. In addition, the process of Ikebana is in itself part of the art. The complex philosophy behind its compositional rules makes Ikebana practice an act of careful contemplation as well as one of active decoration. An Ikebana practitioner works slowly, almost meditatively, on his/her compositions. And, of course, the product is itself a living structure, with its own natural process of blossoming and decaying.
Takaya Fujii’s body of work bridges the fields of traditional and contemporary Japanese art with western influences. The impermanent beauty of a flower or a tree leaf is often captured in his drawings and installations. Salt is the principal element of purification and longevity for his work. It is not restrained by the boundaries of his canvas and goes beyond becoming sculpture - a life performance or video. Takaya is the founder and director of the galerie weissraum, Kyoto Weissraum, Master of Ikebana and Nihonga, "Japanese traditional Painting".
This event launches Dr Jacek Ludwig Scarso’s new project, exploring the performativity of Ikebana in contemporary art installations, to be developed in Kyoto this summer.