He literally launched a bouquet of flowers into space, then, a few years later, he froze an incredible floral composition in the middle of a barren and snowy landscape. Hailing from the Prefecture of Fukuoka, artist Azuma Makoto’s sculptures fuse botany, design, and unadulterated experimentation. At the limits of human resistance and the edge of the world, he looked to challenge the harsh climate of Hokkaido, the northernmost island in Japan famous for its volcanoes, natural hot springs, and ski resorts. Here in this unforgiving territory, Makoto curated a magnificent vegetal composition within the ice, all to show how beauty can emerge from nothing.
Assembled together are shrubs, branches and flowers in contrasting colors, where Azuma cared for the bouquet with continuous watering sessions. In time, the water has frozen to produce icy stalactites around petals and leaves in a surreal corolla that challenges the evolution and transience of nature, creating an enchanting and immobile object. As the result of man's industrious and imaginative efforts, Frozen Flowers recounts the dawn of a new creative spring confirming how, from the union of distant elements and the interpretation of mutating nature, infinite articulations of beauty can emerge.
But the designer’s experience on the peninsula of Notsuke in 2018 was no isolated case: Azuma Makoto, co-founder of JARDINS des FLEURS, a “haute couture” flower shop in the luxurious neighborhood of Ginza, began to explore the expressive potential of plants in the early 2000s, inaugurating a new style of “botanical sculptures” conceived outside the box. “Time is a very important element to me,” declared the artist in an interview with Atmos. “Nothing is permanent in this world; life and death exist next to each other. I think there is beauty to be found in that. The life cycle of a flower is so short it’s practically just a moment.” To be picked and, why not, frozen.