Throughout the years, botanical artist Makoto Azuma has consistently looked for new ways to explore the beauty of plants like flowers and bonsai by placing them in incredibly unique settings. In the past, he has frozen and suspended bonsai trees, submerged them underwater, and even launched bonsai and flowers into space. His latest exhibition, Ice Flowers, offers a distinctive look at the changed life cycles of flower bouquets that have been encased in blocks of ice.
Located in a warehouse two hours northwest of Tokyo, the spectacular exhibition consists of 16 frozen floral arrangements displayed in rows throughout the space. Stems, petals, and leaves are distorted through the thick layers of ice, giving each bouquet a new appearance. Although the blooms initially shine with color and vitality, that beauty will gradually fade as the blocks of ice melt, leaving behind withered flowers and puddles of water.
“Flowers will show unique expressions that they do not display in everyday life, by being placed under such a different environment,” Azuma writes on his website. “Please enjoy how flowers and ice change themselves over time in the ruins far from human’s existence–it is an inorganic space that makes a vivid contrast with flowers.”