Celebrating 60 years of the Indo-Japanese ties, the Hyderabad chapter of Ikebana International, held ‘Shastika’ (meaning 60th), a one-day Ikebana flower arrangement exhibition on Tuesday. Inaugurated by Takayuki Kitagwa, deputy Consul General, Japanese Consulate Chennai and Chandana Khan, principal secretary of tourism, government of AP, the expo also celebrates 15 years of the Hyderabad chapter’s inception.
About 66 creations were on display at the venue, denoting one for each member of the organisation. Expressing her pleasure over the launch, Rekha Reddy, president, Ikebana International, Hyderabad chapter says, “I am so happy with the way the exhibition has turned out. I have always enjoyed the art form and it has been gaining a lot of popularity in the city lately.” A few of Rekha Reddy’s creations were also displayed at Hussain’s Cineghar.
The art of Ikebana
Explaining more on the concept of Ikebana, Anisha Tandon, editor of Floral Pearl, Ikebana International’s newsletter and an enthusiast of Ikebana, says, “Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement and historically has been the pursuit of Buddhist priests, noblemen and samurai. Buddhist monks initially started off with this concept as a part of their offerings to their God. Then slowly it evolved into what we call today as Ikebana.”
Foliage of any kind can be used to create Ikebana which is unique to Japan, yet beautiful.
Relating Ikebana to one’s life and experiences, Anisha explains, “The full blown flower, the half open bud and the tight bud may be used to symbolize past, present and future, and the eternal processes of the universe as a whole. It attaches great importance to the seasons, evoking moods or memories and expresses them in the arrangements.”
Ikebana is different from the regular flower arrangement in a few aspects, as is its asymmetrical in form and the use of empty space is an essential feature of its composition. A sense of harmony among the materials - the container and the setting - is also crucial.
Vijaya Durga, a member of Ikebana International for over six years now believes in the same. Seven of her creations were on display at the exhibition. “It is like meditation for me. I don’t have a tab on time when I am working with flowers. I have fallen in love with nature in these six years and everything I look around has a new view to it.” Talking more on the maintenance and the management of her garden, she says, “It does not feel like much an effort if you love the art. I spend about an hour everyday and a little more time on the weekends. You just need to fall in love with them.”
Learning the craft
A few popular Ikebana schools like The Ohara School, Ikenobo School, Sogetsu School of Ikebana, conduct Ikebana certificate courses globally. The art form can be followed and adapted by people according to their local availability of material, containers and culture. One starts off as a beginner, then moves on to the advanced level, after which they have to finish two levels of assistant teachership, then an instructor and a master and ultimately become a grand master.