Aibi Ikebana 6th Annual Group Exhibition

On June 8th and 9th the Aibi Ikebana group held its 6th annual group exhibition, for the first time in Nagai sensei’s newly restored space, ‘Showa no Ie’. In previous years we had held the exhibitions in a community center gallery, and then for three consecutive years at Sakurai kominka, A 120-yr. old traditional farmhouse with a beautiful spacious interior, kura ( traditional store house) and garden, Sakurai was a great space to exhibit in, but this summer it will be changing ownership and will no longer be available as a community space.

The timing of opening ‘Showa no Ie’, the beautifully restored 1960’s house on my teacher’s property, could not have been better. Traditionally trained Japanese carpenters put  in new floors, tatami, sliding shoji doors, and custom shelves. Walls were re-plastered, and literally tons of old books and stuff was cleared out. With high ceilings with exposed beams and huge glass sliding doors facing south, the space has a bright yet earthy modern vintage feel that cannot easily be replicated in contemporary architecture. How lucky are we to have access to such a unique space right in our neighborhood.

The main room of Showa no Ie

The main room of Showa no Ie

Come and join me for a virtual tour of our first exhibit in the charming Showa no Ie!

The entrance of Show no Ie, decorated with bamboo

The entrance of Show no Ie, decorated with bamboo

At the front door, my composition greets visitors. Materials: dracenia, New Zealand flax, coxcomb, anthurium.

At the front door, my composition greets visitors. Materials: dracenia, New Zealand flax, coxcomb, anthurium.

My first piece acted as a sort of warm-up: a small piece playing with shape and color, arranged in a beautiful iron stand.

What I most enjoy about creating work for an exhibition is the chance to work large-scale, to expand out of the confines of a vase into something that takes into account the surrounding space. The inspiration for my second piece came from the massive piece of driftwood (part of my sensei’s collection) from Yakushima Island.

Installation in the entryway- my composition using driftwood, gloriosa lily, yatsude branch, anthurium, baby's breath.

Installation in the entryway- my composition using driftwood, gloriosa lily, yatsude branch, anthurium, baby’s breath.

Containers with water are placed in between the holes and below the wood, giving the illusion that the flowers are growing out of it.

Side view- installation in the entryway: my composition using driftwood, gloriosa lily, yatsude branch, anthurium, baby's breath.

Side view- installation in the entryway: my composition using driftwood, gloriosa lily, yatsude branch, anthurium, baby’s breath.

Yatsude, the green material, grows profusely around Japan, and the leaves make a great material for experimentation. Here I cut them to a round shape to mirror the shape of the paper fan.

Detail: gloriosa lily, cut yatsude leaves with fan.

My third piece, inspired by the beautiful vintage bamboo vase, showed off the vertical nature of the peonies, and takes advantage of the interesting light and shadows from the glass pane in the background.

My composition with peony and aspidistra in a vintage bamboo vase
My composition with peony and aspidistra in a vintage bamboo vase
From another angle: my composition with peony and aspidistra in a vintage bamboo vase

From another angle: my composition with peony and aspidistra in a vintage bamboo vase

And the work of some of the very other talented members of the exhibition:

Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 037

Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 039

Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 040

Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 051

Ikebana trial lessons

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Ikebana trial lessons

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Flowers for the trial lessons

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Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 029

Emiko Kazama’s work

Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 013

Kawasaki san’s work

Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 034

Detail of Kawasaki san’s work

   Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 026Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 035Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 025   Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 036

Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 015

Aibi group Ikebana exhibition 2013-06-08 019

You can find out more about Aibi Ikebana’s upcoming events and workshops here and  here.

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About nihonbi

Fortunate to have called Japan home from 1998-2014. Active in Sogetsu-ryu Ikebana, and with years of experience in tea ceremony, Japanese dance and ceramics, inspired by Japan's unique mix of heritage and innovation. I've created Nihonbi as a place to share my experiences in the Japanese art world and to network with others with a similar passion.
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