The sequences of the rear heaven (Ikebana)


‘The word ikebana is made up of two ideograms. IKE comes from the verbikeru which means to live but also to put together, to arrange, to adorn, but which can also be read as ‘real’. HANA means flowers. Flowers then which live, real flowers, living flowers, arranged flowers, flowers which decorate, flowers put together. Today ikebana is considered a form of art; a very particular form of art which uses naturally perishable materials – branches, flowers, leaves, fruits and berries – and which puts those who practise it in a constant position of confrontation, obliges them to live their lives in the profound knowledge of nature and its rhythms. Season and colours, light and shadow, sun and moon, sand and water. Ikebana is an ancient art whose roots lie both in the animist religion of Japan, Shintoism, and in the offering of flowers to Buddha. It is the only form of flower arrangement to possess a series of clear and definite rules, a sort of “arrangement code” which becomes a code of living, a path to follow. Ikebana does in fact have another name – Kado, the path of flowers. Throughout the centuries, ikebana has adapted to the different tastes and cultural trends of the times. In the fifteenth century the solemn arrangements called RIKKA (erect flowers) represented the universe, Mount Neru, the axis of the earth and were in line with the fundamental teachings of esoteric buddhism. During this same period, other arrangements existed called, NAGEIRE, spontaneous and natural ikebana, a branch of blossom placed in a vase, and the more essential CHABANA. The seventeenth century sees the birth of a new form – an interaction between the rigorous Rikka, the spontaneous NAGEIRE and the essential CHABANA, the Sieka or Shoca. No longer an offering to the gods, ikebana follows the concepts of Confucianism – man becomes the mediator between heaven and earth. The latest form of ikebana was born ninety years ago, a creation of the founder of the Ohara school; MORIBANA – gathered flowers. For the first time, low not high vases are used; for the first time not only Japanese but all types of flowers are accepted. Many ikebana schools currently exist. Among the most important are the IKENOBO, the classical school which codified the Rikka, the OHARA which has brought in innovations like Moribana and the SOGETSU which has launched modern ikebana in which any type of material can be used, not only plants but also iron, plastic, metal.’


23 Agosto 1986 - 30 Agosto 1986


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions