blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Japanese Sogetsu inspired by Canadian art

Close-up of Mayumi's work of art
I went to an Ikebana show in the Information and Culture Centre at the Japanese Embassy and showed some pictures of it on my Facebook page, but as Facebook is all rather transitory, I'll record it here as well. I was very impressed. The arrangements (sculpture with plant materials) had a unifying theme: they were all inspired by Canadian art. Apparently the Ikebana specialists had been given a limited number of works of art (paintings / sculptures) to choose from and each of their creations was a tribute to one of those artworks.

Mayumi's work, front view
Mayumi Shepherd, a local Ikebana teacher from Tokyo, whom I know, sent me a personal invitation to the show. She was one of the exhibitors, her creation inspired by an abstract painting by Jack Shadbolt, entitled "Winter Theme": "As for my arrangement, it's made with 100 pieces of New Zealand Flax," she told me. "First, I make strings from flax when they are fresh and then I knit them together by hand (without needles) and repeat to make a piece like that. It took 6 months to create this large piece."

In the entrance hall was a different piece, very reminiscent of Mary Pratt's Red Currant Jelly.

The Ikebana arrangement (detail)

The painting by Mary Pratt
Here's another pairing that worked extraordinarily well:

Yumiko and her response to Riopelle
Yumiko Tsunakawa's creation, recalled an abstract sculpture by Riopelle ––Yumiko told me that she saw the picture of the sculpture and immediately know what she was going to do, but her search for the right materials took a long time. The metalic, tube like shapes on the left are made of a special kind of builders' paper.

Rather than list all the creations that impressed me, I'll just mention one more, a reworking of a painting by Alex Colville that I'd seen in Toronto earlier this month.

Infantry near Nijmegen, Holland (1946) by Alex Colville

Nancy Sharp's interpretation of Colville's painting
I was in this relatively small exhibition for a long time. Mayumi also tells me that at an forthcoming Sogetsu exhibition in Tokyo, there are going to be 700 creations on display. Imagine how much time I'd feel like spending there!

No comments: