To create his Locked in the ether series, Kenji Shibata froze an array of flowers in blocks of ice, temporarily locking the full blooms in all their glory. Then, he let the ice melt and photographed the weepy wilting and thawing process.
As the ice relinquishes its grip on the flowers, bruised petals and discolored stems emerge in striking color. Streaks of water and thin veneers of ice measure depth in the photos. By temporarily suspending the flowers' aging cycle with ice, the artist conceptually depicts tension between the passing of time and beauty's decline.
Shibata's style is usually characterized by soft lighting, psychedelic images of women and flowers, and tightly framed shots of nature and urban landscapes. Although the artist often favors black and white, vibrant bouquets blaze in this project.
The series is currently featured at Tachibana Gallery in Osaka, Japan.