Japanese artist Azuma Makotorecently ventured to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert (home of Burning Man) to launch a Japanese white pine bonsai into space. The artist also arranged a stunning bouquet with about 30 varieties of flowers from around the world and launched them into space as well. The project, entitled Exobiotanica, occurred on 15 July
To accomplish the feat Makoto collaborated with Sacramento-based JP Aerospace, a volunteer-based organization that constructs and sends vessels into orbit. The team used helium balloons to launch the plants and the bonsai reached a height of 91,800 ft (27.98 km), while the bouquet topped out at 87,000 ft (26.51 km).
Bonsai is a central theme to my work. Bonsai is the art form of planting trees in a pot and creating a microcosmic scene of nature. It consists of multiple layers of various elements. The size of a pot determines how much trees can grow. Branches and trunks which grow freely are shaped artificially with wires. To create the natural-looking, white, dead branches and trunk, a skilled craftsman uses deadwood technique to kill some parts of them with chemicals or a chisel knife. Natural plants which grow in various directions do not have a specific front side obviously. However, in Bonsai there is a front side, which means there is a painterly element to them. Bonsai is created intentionally this way. Bonsai is the collaborative result of natural beauty and artistic work by a human, a combination I am deeply attracted to.
So I’d left my little bonsai on the shelf (from when i was taking photos this morning) and I got home from work to find that Arya had made herself pretty comfortable on the shelf next to it. I moved it back to the windowsill and now she’s sleeping next to it. I think she’s got a new favourite toy.
Tokyo-based artist Azuma Makoto launched a 50-year-old Japanese white pine bonsai, along with an arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, into the great beyond.
The carefully arranged greenery was expelled from planet earth from Black Rock Desert, Nevada — also the location of the Burning Man Festival. The whole project was taped, thanks to the six GoPro cameras strapped to the balloons which carried the plants. As you could probably guess, the juxtaposition of crisp floral arrangement and the empty wilderness of outer space is a surreal sight to behold.
"I went to Amazon, Brazil last year and created art pieces with plants that were full of aliveness in dense forest where I could hear groan from the earth," the artist explained to the Huffington Post. "This was a mind-blowing experience since I really felt that I was arranging the plants onto the earth. For this EXOBIOTANICA project, one of my inspiration sources was curiosity – I asked myself, ‘what would it happen when I arrange plants on the globe, from up in the sky?’ as a concept that is completely opposite of what I did in Brazil."
The goal was simple: “I wanted to explore how flowers and plants would bloom, decay and change outside of the earth. I wanted to seek and tell how their beauties will look with the earth as its background.” (via HuffPostArts)