It’s amazing what you can discover trawling on Pinterest. Ikebana master Toshiro Kawase is one of them. Searching for beautiful pictures of ikebana floral designs, I couldn’t help but notice the name Toshiro Kawase cropping up on pins. And what stunning pins they were.
Portraits of Japan in Flowers…
Born in Kyoto in 1948, Kawase earned a degree from Nihon University College of Art. After graduating, he tripped over to Paris to work in theatre and film, which no doubt had a major influence on his perspective and poetic style. Returning to Japan in 1974 he continued to study many forms of floral arranging, his amazing talent receiving much acclaim, and his ikebana designs being described as capturing ‘portraits of Japan in flowers’.
What is Ikebana?
Ikebana is characterised by ‘extreme discipline and minimalism’. An intense study of a floral specimen to reveal its essential form. It is a balanced, contemplative, ‘meditative’ art.
As one website describes,
‘Go too far in stripping the details and the piece looses its vitality. Not far enough and the energy is obscured. To achieve such a delicate balance is the ultimate expression of humankind’s harmony with Nature, and the mark of a true master’. (1)
There are a multitude of Ikebana schools and styles that have emerged over centuries, yet Toshiro stands out as a modern day master of this ancient floral art form….
Kawase’s work convey the delicate balance of body, mind and soul that is an integral basis to the art of ikebana. Elemental vases play an equally important role as the floral forms themselves in his compositions.
Described by art blogger www.designskool.net, Toshiro Kawase’s designs are;
‘They are like epiphanies, embodying all the tension and fragility of a state of grace. Small and yet hugely evocative, they are haikus in flowers. They are limitless energy barely contained in a halo of quiet. They are nature manipulated by man. Man in harmony with Nature.’ (2)
To some these examples of Toshiro’s work may appear simple, easy to execute. Yet their simplicity belies the eye. A lifetime of study and intense practise has gone into these floral compositions. His work is inspired. Pure art. Take a look at more of Toshiro’s work on our Pinterest board here.
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