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Japanese floral art at the Mariemont

Ikebana originated in the 5th century. During that era, Buddhist monks collected plants broken by the wind after storms and put them in high vases in the temples, as an offering to Buddha, in order to prolong their life and allow them to blossom fully.

Ikebana means living flower

It is the art of composing bouquets which show off flowers, branches and greenery in accordance with specific rules and methods that vary according to the schools.

What distinguishes Ikebana from a simple decorative approach is its asymmetrical shape and the use of “empty” space that shows its element to advantage. In the composition, the lines, masses and colours create the atmosphere where the techniques of the visual arts are found: architecture to develop the structure of the bouquet, sculpture to look for shapes and volumes, painting to create harmony or contrast thanks to the colours and the textures of the plants.

The observation of nature is very important, because the accent is placed on the seasons, the process of plant growth and the beauty of the natural environment.

Practising Ikebana allows people to encounter Nature and themselves directly: a form of active meditation that allows us to glimpse a message of simplicity before these plants, which are essentially ephemeral.