Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Western Flower Arranging

vs. Japanese

This isn't a very good example of shogetsu ikebana. It's missing some shorter flowers near the base and let's face it, seven years away from Japan, i'm a little rusty, but I thought i'd show you the contrast between Western and Japanese arranging, with the same flowers. Ikebana emphasises lines and requires a balance of empty spaces and fullness. It's also almost always asymmetrical. I remember when i was first learning ikebana, I felt frustrated by the spareness and the asymmetry. I longed to create a nice, full, symmetrical arrangement, but after five years, I began to prefer the Japanese aesthetic, although I also love a mixture of Western and Eastern, arrangements that involve branches and in which each flower is given the chance to shine. Chez Panisse in Berkeley and other chic California Cuisine restaurants tend to feature this kind of arranging, not to mention fancy law firms and department stores, especially in California.

I suppose because Holland is not far from here, and Hamburg is a port city, tulips are really cheap here, so i tend to indulge. I just bought 20 parrot tulips for €8. I will post another picture when they've opened up more.

Thanks again for visiting and leaving comments. I'm still swept up in spring cleaning and hence trying to stay away from the computer and sewing machine, but thought i'd share some parrot tulips with you. It snowed today, even though there are blossoms everywhere--cherry, forsythia, plum.


jovaliquilts said...

I bet there must be such a thing as "comfort aesthetics." I find Japanese style very beautiful, but sometimes I just "need" what Im used to. Interesting how you grew to like it.

Belém said...

The Ikebana arranging are so peaceful. I could not make one because there is a philosophy behind it that must be learned but I love to see Ikebana images (like yours).
I will wait to see the tulips more open. Happy Easter Nettie.

Kay said...

Personally, I don't think there's a bad way to arrange flowers, unless the flowers are somehow hidden or distorted. I really love the loose informal look that I think of as French (although I'm sure it isn't), and the Japanese way is also lovely. Thanks for the pictures. I'd love to see some tulips about now.