Florist and botanical sculptor Azuma Makoto pushes the boundaries of flower arrangement with his surrealist installation art. He explores themes like the ephemerality of nature by preserving bouquets in blocks of ice, submerging Bonzai trees in tanks of water, and even launching plants into space.
One of his more recent creations, entitled Frozen Flowers, required the artist to travel to the Notsuke peninsula in Hokkaido in the dead of winter. There, he constructed a tall tower of open flowers and doused it with water so that it would freeze over. The layers of ice preserved the viridity of the numerous blooms, even as the icicles descended from the stems, leaves, and petals. This hulking form shows the visual power of flowers; the bright blooms still managed to shine through the dense icicles.
Additionally, the size of the arrangement made it the sole focus among the flat, desolate landscape—again, highlighting the visual impact nature can have. “The place where this installation was held in Hokkaido is also called the end of the world since blighted pine trees are usually spread out there and that place freezes over in winter,” the artist's studio explains. “It was the series of how Azuma pursued unknown possibilities of flowers and how flowers express themselves under this condition.”