In his latest project, Tokyo-based artist Azuma Makoto made shimmering, otherworldly sculptures from some of nature’s finest art pieces: flowers and ice. He suspended blossoming bouquets in 16 giant pillars of ice. These frozen botanicals were displayed in a factory-turned-art gallery two hours outside Tokyo.
In the installation, called Iced Flowers, “flowers show unique expressions that they do not display in everyday life,” Makoto says in his artist statement. The work plays with themes of growth and death: the ice freezes the natural cycle of bloom and decay in time, and the flowers appear trapped like ancient bugs in amber. But as the ice slowly melts, the flowers wilt and rot more dramatically than they normally would. And putting flowers in this foreign context somehow clarifies their beauty more than, say, a typical vase or pot would.
Makoto calls himself a “botanical artist,” and this isn’t the first time he’s taken flowers out of their native element for the sake of art. He’s suspended flowers in midair with wires and stuffed petals into bottles. Last year, in a project called “Exobiotanica,” he sent a bouquet of orchids, lilies, hydrangeas, irises, and a bonsai tree into space. Maybe next time he’ll find a way to play with flowers and fire.
[via Spoon and Tamago]