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Iced Flowers: Exotic Floral Bouquets Locked in Blocks of Ice by Makoto Azuma

January 20, 2015

Johnny Waldman

The self-described botanic artist Makoto Azuma is trying to change the way we look at flowers. He’s used water and the stratosphere as backdrops for his exotic flower arrangements but now he’s experimenting with ice. In his latest exhibition “Iced Flowers,” Azuma locks floral bouquets in large blocks of ice and displays them like pillars. Placed in an inorganic chamber, the “flowers will show unique expressions that they do not display in everyday life,” says Azuma. The installation, held last week in Japan, was temporary by nature but the artist made sure to preserve the images. (syndicated from Spoon &…

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Design

Makoto Azuma Uses the Stratosphere as a Backdrop For His Latest Floral Art

July 22, 2014

Johnny Waldman

Last week Japanese botanic artist Makoto Azuma attempted to go where most artists only dream of going: to space. In a project titled Exbiotanica, last week Azuma and his crew traveled to Black Rock Desert outside Gerlach, Nevada. In the dead of night Azuma’s project began. The team launched two of Azuma’s artworks – a 50-year old pine suspended from a metal frame and an arrangement of flowers – into the stratosphere using a large helium balloon. The entire project was documented, revealing some surreal photographs of plants floating above planet earth. “The best thing about this project is that…

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Art

A Frozen Installation by Azuma Makoto Preserves a Vibrant Floral Arrangement in Ice

January 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

Japanese artist Azuma Makoto (previously) is known for shifting the contexts in which we typically view florals—think encasing bouquets in blocks of ice or suspending them in the stratosphere—through installations and designs that blur the boundaries between art and botany. Shown here is a 2018 project titled “Frozen Flowers” from Makoto's In Bloom series. The undertaking brought the artist to Notsuke Peninsula in Hokkaido where he doused open blossoms and greenery in water. Positioned against the stark, snowy landscape, the resulting arrangement is frozen in its original splendor, allowing…

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Art Design

An Oversized Zipper Ship Opens the Sumida River Flowing Through Tokyo

December 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

 Japanese artist Yasuhiro Suzuki long has wondered about what lies beneath the surface of Tokyo's Sumida River, a question he's symbolically remedied with a sleek vessel that unzips the middle of the waterway. Suzuki's "Zip-Fastener Ship" mimics the ubiquitous closures as it separates the central river with a wake that splays out just like the teeth-lined tape. Completed in 2004, the silver vessel grew out of an idea Suzuki had in 2002 after he watched a ship glide down the waterway while flying overhead. "The undertow of the boat, which travels back and forth between Azuma-bashi Bridge and Sakura-bashi…

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Animation Science

A Verdant Botanical Animation Takes a Macro View of Nature’s Cycles

February 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

 Spanning from day to night and from sunshine to rain and wind, "Story of Flowers" shows the various stages of botanical growth and the help plants get along the way. The instructional project—which was illustrated by Katie Scott, animated by James Paulley, and directed by Azuma Makoto—depicts the interconnected networks within an ecosystem, like the organisms underground fertilizing the soil or a bumblebee landing atop and pollinating a pistil. Each stage of the germination process is shot with an enlarged view to magnify roots stretching out, sprouts poking through the ground, and flowers opening up to bloom. As rain…

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Art Design

Lego Bonsai Tree by Makoto Azuma

November 26, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Botanical artist Makoto Azuma (previously here and here) just completed work on this lovely bonsai tree made entirely from LEGO bricks. The excruciating detail from the undulating moss surface to the craggy, multicolored tree branches is clear evidence of Azuma's intimate understanding of the botanical world. If I encountered an actual set like this you couldn't take my money fast enough. See a bit more detail here. (via spoon and tamago)

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