Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Japanese Art of Flower Arrangement

Today, Missy helped me find a new and interesting way to procrastinate on writing my paper...she took Jamie and me out to an ikebana exhibition before we met up with Amber and Jenni at Cocok's with the silent k for pedicures. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement and that's pretty much all we knew about it when we got there. A very nice lady explained some of the fundamentals of the art form to us:

Missy's boss's wife (who gave her the tickets) said that there are different levels of ikebana, kind of like how you have different color belts in karate (I think "black belt flower arranger" would sound kind of cool on a resume, don't you?). Along this wall are the arrangements by the most experienced people in this group, and the lady explained to us that doing the minimalist arrangements is the most difficult. I can believe it, there are a lot of art forms where simple is much harder to have to make sure everything balances correctly. The lady explained to us that there are certain rules to be followed for traditional ikebana arrangements, and how they use their hands to bend the branches into the shapes they want. She told us a lot of other stuff too but since I had one of my infamous low-level all-day headaches I don't remember a lot more of what she said.

Anyway, I did take a bunch of pictures, but the lighting wasn't great and I don't usually mess around a lot with the camera settings, so while the pictures aren't the best you'll at least get the general idea of what we saw. This is one of the minimalist ikebana...looks like a bird of paradise with banana leaves. This kind of thing makes me wish I knew more about plants and could identify more flowers.

The rest of the arrangements that I took pictures of are by the students, so they have a lot more going on. On the next one, I liked how the wooden container loops around and is a big part of the design. We saw lots of lilies today.

The flowers on this one were a beautiful mauve color...I've noticed that our little camera has trouble photographing purples true-to-life. I took some pictures of some purple-tipped carnations and they came out much more blue-violet than royal purple. The mauve color on this one isn't too far off, though.

I liked the loops on this one. Anyone out there know what the yellow flowers are?

Loved the vibrant pinks and yellows on this one. At least I know that the pink flowers are roses :)

This one was much prettier in real life, and it was huge. It was fun to walk around it to get the full effect. Cherry blossoms and lilies!

Here's Jamie and Missy with one we dubbed the "flamingoes of paradise"...we think the flowers are birds of paradise but they look like flamingoes to us. That's our story and we're sticking to it.

This was the first arrangement we saw as it was immediately to the left when we entered the room. I wish the picture was better but this is all I've got...this arrangement was enormous and filled with cherry blossoms (we're going to Nago to see the cherry blossoms tomorrow!)

It also had the coolest-looking flowers in it:

The nice lady told us they're some new type of dahlia. We thought they looked like fireworks.

I also took a number of close-ups of flowers, you know how I love to do that :) How about a pink lily?

And here's another one...

I don't think I took a picture of the entire arrangement for this next one, but I liked the lime green juxtaposed with the deep pink:

My favorite Georgia O'Keeffe picture of the day:

Some lovely red roses flowers of some type?

And finally, something with ruffles:

So there you have it. I was originally going to post our Cocok's pictures today too, but I think this post is long enough already as well as picture-heavy. So the toe pics will be coming soon, followed shortly thereafter by cherry blossom pictures. And hopefully at some point this week I'll have a finished paper. Ha!


Cindy said...

These pictures are just beautiful. Thank you so much for posting! I can imagine how beautiful they were in person. I could almost smell the flowers through the computer! I really enjoyed looking at them. Thanks again!

CCsMom said...

Wow, how beautiful. I was just going through our Okinawa pictures and the close-ups of the lillies. Yes, there are some gorgeous flowers there. Sure wish I had a picture of Shoko with her arrangement -- it was like this -- minimalist. I thought it was beautiful. Hope you will have a wonderful Sunday. I think we're going to Tony's. (Oops, sorry I said that out loud!) Love, Mom

Giffysk8s said...

So pretty! What a fun thing to do!

It seems that I am now old and wonder how young people can butcher our language and don't seem to know anything about famous artists other than pop stars. Since you are a teenager compared to me, I am thoroughly impressed that you used the word "juxtatposed, " that you used the word correctly, and that you know who Georgia O'Keeffe is! You do your generation proud, Miss Christy! Of course, you always do. So I wasn't "surprised," just impressed. :)

Christy Lynn said...

LOL Vicki...I *am* a college graduate ;) My mom will tell you that when I was about ten, my brother and I raced across the street when we were all out for a walk and Adam hollered "I won! I won!" and I said, "No you didn't, we reached the curb simultaneously!" Mom thought it was hilarious hearing a word that big come out of my mouth at that age.

The only fun thing about writing papers anymore is getting to use words like deleterious and quiescence. I like to play with words, I just don't like to write research papers :p