TRADITIONAL FLOWER ARRANGING
“A new museum opening soon in Tucson will offer visitors a unique window into Japan’s distinctive cultural hallmarks.
On October 5, Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson will open its doors for the Fall 2018 season. In addition to hanging scrolls, prints, kimonos, and folk crafts, a permanent exhibition will be launched featuring objects used in the traditional art of Japanese flower arranging, or Ikebana. This collection forms the largest and widest-ranging collection of ikebana vases and containers in the United States. Many are more than a century old, others are contemporary, and most are handmade by Japanese artisans from bamboo, bronze, lacquer, clay, or glass.
Ikebana arose about 550 years ago, born of placing flowers at altars in Buddhist temples. Unlike Western flower arranging which focuses on blooms and blossoms, Ikebana gives equal weight to texture, form, and structure, and to stems, leaves, and branches. And not least to vases – designed and mindfully chosen on the basis of their materials, size, shape, finish, and color to heighten the contemplative, Zen-like nature of a traditional Japanese floral composition.
From the first containers made of iron, Ikebana vases have evolved as the art of flower arranging spread from the Japanese nobility to commoners. Various schools of Ikebana also developed, pursuing differing arrangement principles. The vases used in all of them share a purity of purpose designed to complement but not compete with the creations they hold.
A representative selection from Yume’s holdings of more than 200 vases will be on rotating exhibit to illustrate the amazing breadth of design and materials in Ikebana containers, and photographs of flower arrangements will show how the vases are used in the different schools. The new museum complements week-long Fall and Spring Ikebana festivals held annually at Yume, in which dozens of vases are displayed throughout the Gardens with arrangements contrasting the diverse techniques of Ikebana practice.”
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Established in 2013, Yume Japanese Gardens is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization, located at 2130 N. Alvernon Way. Open Tuesdays through Sundays from October 2 to May 2, it highlights five examples of classical Japanese landscape design and includes a replica traditional Japanese cottage, exhibits of Japanese art and handicrafts, and a gift shop. It also holds seasonal Japanese festivals, tea ceremonies, and classes in Ikebana. For information on the new museum or the Gardens, contact Patricia Deridder at (520) 272-3200 or email email@example.com. The website is yumegardens.org.