Living Flowers: Ikebana and Contemporary Art

Living Flowers: Ikebana and Contemporary Art, a group exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum, conceived by former senior art curator Karin Higa, juxtaposed ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, with the work of contemporary artists whose art has been influenced by the practices of this traditional art form. The exhibition design further emphasized the thesis of the show, highlighting the critical dialogue between traditions with contemporary practices. Through form, technique, and choice of material, the design references traditional Japanese elements such as shoji (translucent dividing screens), byobu (folding ornamental screens), manmaku (temporary curtains or draperies used for special events), and tokonoma (interior alcoves used for the display of scrolls and flower arrangements).