When I was in Japan in September 2014, there were a few festivals while I was there. At one of them, they had an exhibition of ikebana—flower arrangement—aka flower art. The picture above is of one of those ikebana during that festival.
I’ve been a fan of Japan and Japanese culture for more than a decade, but it wasn’t until I took a course called “Japanese Art, Architecture and Visual Culture” that I fully appreciated how much I love many Japanese things.
Scandinavian design is often called minimalist and clean (or words to similar effect), and so is Japanese design if I say so myself. Ikebana is colorful, stylish and temporary. Nothing lasts.
One Japanese architecture book I have (Japanska Rum: Om Tomhet och Föränderlighet i Traditionell och Nutida Japansk Arkitektur by Kristina Fridh (excellent book btw)) says that in Japan a room isn’t a room. A room is the experience you have right that moment as you are in the room. That means that each time you enter or leave a room, it is different. Every time you move, or the light moves (if it has a window), it is a different “room”.
In view of that, ikebana as a master art form makes perfect sense. Nothing is permanent; everything is always different; even art, or especially art.