CHENNAI: The first thing you experience when you enter Inko Centre on Adyar Club Road is the fragrance of different flowers neatly arranged in ceramic vases of different sizes and colours. While you’re basking in the aromatic high, you’re greeted by 12 women in colourful Korean hanboks (traditional clothing), who explain the art of Korean floral arrangement.
Talking to City Express about the art, Myung-Sook Choi, chairperson, Korean Ggotggozi Association, said, “Ggotggozi (pronounced Gote-go-zee) dates back to the Silla dynasty in Korea (57 BC–935 AD).” With roses, carnation, chrysanthemum, lily and anthurium flowers and branches of azalea, dogwood and rhododendron adorning the table, the talented florist assembled the flowers in the vases within 15 minutes.
“In ggotggozi, everything from the smallest grass to tiny twigs and flowers are given importance,” said Choi. There are 14 styles of flower arrangement in ggotggozi, of which three – straight, slanting and droopy were demonstrated during the workshop-cum-exhibition.
“I’ve been doing this since 1972 and learnt ggotggozi while I was in high school. This is what we do and we love talking to flowers more than people,” smiled Choi.
Flowers are arranged by pinning them to a pin holder, which is placed inside the ceramic vase. “All flowers are from Korea; they’re 100% natural. We want to harness the principle of simplicity and space; we call it ‘yeoback’ denoting the yin-yang balance,” pointed out Lee Yoon Joo. He also explained the concept of having short and long branches that droop down in an arrangement. “One will balance the other. They follow their natural curve and encourage free blooms. This balance and unity is very important,” she said.
(The floral exhibition at Inko center will be open till today. A two-month ggotggozi course will also begin on July 9. Registration ends on July 1. For details, call 24361224)