Japanese artist Azuma Makoto recently ventured to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to launch a 50-year-old pine bonsai and a colorful floral arrangement into space. The mission, titled Exobotanica, aimed to explore the transformation of the plants into exobiota (extraterrestrial life) in outer space.
Japanese botanical artist Makoto Azuma (previously featured here) recently created an awesome installation, entitled Iced Flowers, that fuses the beauty of spring with the cold of winter. A factory located in the Japanese town of Saitama, a couple hours NW of Tokyo, was converted into a gallery space to showcase 16 large blocks of clear ice containing vibrant bouquets of exotic flowers. Arranged in columns of three on the factory’s bare concrete floor, the shimmering blocks hold their flowers like bright jewels, frozen in time and prevented from wilting for as long as the blocks remain intact. As soon as the ice melts the flowers will begin to wither.
To get a better look at Azuma’s marvelous Iced Flowers visit his website and follow him here on Tumblr at azuma-makoto, where’s he’s posted large close-up photos of each frozen bouquet.
Makoto Azuma (born in 1976 in Japan) came to Tokyo in 1997 to make his debut in a rock band with four members. While engaged in the band activities, he started to work as a trader in Ota Market, one of the biggest markets of flowers in Japan. Becoming increasingly attracted by flowers, he took charge of a flower shop in a supermarket in Azabu-Juban in 1999. In 2001 he opened an haute-couture flower shop named JARDINS des FLEURS with Shunsuke Shiinoki.
His works are different to the others which all respect the format of arrangement. Azuma is interested in “making flowers/plants more alive” than they really are. However, his works do not result only in expressing their beauty. The term “beauty” here means the surface beauty. His viewpoint of completely accepting flowers/plants even as they start to rot, and not ignoring the “death” behind the “life” is at the heart of his work.
The photographer Shunsuke Shiinoki, whom Azuma describes as his “right-hand man”, has captured his creations since 2002.Their latest work can be found in a new book, Encyclopaedia of Flower II is filled with breath-taking floral arrangements. Follow him on Tumblr. via
Japan-based artist Makoto Azuma has constructed two botanical art pieces (Shiki 1 and Frozen Pine) comprised of bonsai pine trees in unusual situations. As one of 20 international contemporary artists showing their work at Z33 Art Centre’s exhibit in Hasselt, Belgium entitled Alter Nature: We Can, he sought to communicate how man has displaced, manipulated, and designed nature.
De Japanse bloemenkunstenaar Azuma Makoto blijft ons verbazen met uitzonderlijke projecten. Zo ook weer zijn eerste project in 2015: de expositie ‘Iced Flowers’ die op 10 en 11 Januari plaatsvond in Tokyo. Het oogstrelende project onderzoek de transitie die bloemen doormaken als ze in ijs gevangen zijn. Beïnvloed door de extreme omstandigheden vertonen de bloemen unieke uiterlijkheden die normaal onzichtbaar blijven. Makoto: “Please enjoy how flowers and ice change themselves over time in the ruins far from human’s existence – it is an inorganic space that makes a vivid contrast with flowers.”
Tokyo based artist Makoto Azuma, for his latest project titled “Exobiotanica”, teamed with Sacramento-based JP Aerospace - a volunteer-based organization that constructs and sends vessels into orbit, to launch a Japanese white pine bonsai and an arrangement of flowers into the stratosphere. Using Styrofoam and a very light metal frame, the team created two devices to attach the 50-year-old bonsai and the flowers, which were then launch separately using Helium balloons. Azuma attached still cameras and six Go Pro video cameras tied in a ball to record the trip into the stratosphere.
”I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” Azuma later explained T Magazine. After both pieces went up, Azuma embraced his team warmly and smiled. “I always wanted to travel to space,” he said. “This is a dream come true.”
This beautiful LEGO bonsai tree is the work of Japanese botanical artist Makoto Azuma. Anyone who has ever played with LEGO bricks will recognize what an impressive feat it is to create such convincing organic shapes and textures, the rough, variegated bark, and uneven, pillowy moss. It’s an awesome little tree.
“Flowers aren’t just beautiful to show on tables,” said Azuma Makoto, a 38-year-old artist based in Tokyo. His latest installation piece, if you could call it that, takes this statement to the extreme. Two botanical objects — “Shiki 1,” a Japanese white pine bonsai suspended from a metal frame, and an untitled arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, among other blossoms — were launched into the stratosphere on Tuesday in Black Rock Desert outside Gerlach, Nevada, a site made famous for its hosting of the annual Burning Man festival. ”I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” Makoto explained that morning.
MAKOTO AZUMA is not only a florist who creates punk art using plants and flowers but he is also the owner of the flower shop Jardins des Fleurs and of gallery AMPG (closed in March 2009) both based in Tokyo.