Living Flowers opening
A new exhibition opened to the public this past weekend at the Japanese American National Museum. Living Flowers: Ikebana and Contemporary Art looks at the influence of ikebana and Japanese design aethestics on contemporary art.
Saturday night, I attended the opening reception for the exhibition. It was great to see so many people there. The Aratani Central Hall was packed during the brief program with a diverse crowd of Museum staff & volunteers; representatives from the 3 ikebana schools - Ikenobo, Ohara, and Sogetsu; JA community; and contemporary art fans.
One of the things I enjoy about working at the Museum is the opportunity to see the exhibition as it progresses and knowing that I was able to contribute and be a part of it. Although I've never taken an Japanese American or Asian American Studies class, I would guess that I know about as much or more than most who have. I learn a little bit more about JA history, art, and culture with each exhibition, and this exhibit is no exception. Prior to this exhibit, I knew vaguely about ikebana. Now I'm able to somewhat recognize the difference between the styles from the 3 schools represented. As my sister and I walked through the exhibition, we quizzed ourselves to see if we could guess which school did each arrangement before peaking at the labels. I think we both got about 11 out of 12 correct. Each Friday morning the ikebana schools return to do new arrangements, so I think this will be a weekly game for us. =)
For info about the exhibition and its related programs (each school will be doing a demonstration), visit the exhibition website:
*I worked on the exhibit site with our web technologist and other project staff, so would appreciate feedback! If you can't make it to see the exhibition weekly, you can test yourself too! We'll be adding photo documentation of the ikebana arrangements as they change out. The photos should be online about a week after each change.