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.
Come and join me for a virtual tour of our first exhibit in the charming Showa no Ie!
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.
Containers with water are placed in between the holes and below the wood, giving the illusion that the flowers are growing out of it.
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.
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.
And the work of some of the very other talented members of the exhibition: