REFERENCE

Ikebana: The Zen Way of Flowers

Tuttle Mar. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9784805317365. $29.99. REF
COPY ISBN
Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, features harmonious and often minimalist compositions of natural materials such as flowers, twigs, and leaves arranged in a container. Throughout his career, floral artist Ueno (Japanese Ikebana for Every Season), who uses the term “hanaike” (Japanese for flower vase) for his works, has developed a personal style that emphasizes the physical beauty of the flower. Each chapter of his book focuses on a different ikebana concept, including balance, light, and height, with numerous large-scale photographs, mostly from a head-on angle, to give readers a sense of what the arrangements would look like in person. Most include descriptions of Ueno’s creative process, providing a glimpse into the thought and consideration that goes into ikebana, such as seasonality, choice of vessel, and the physical arrangement of the flowers. There’s also an overview of nine different ikebana techniques that are used to achieve a variety of designs in a diverse range of vessels, ranging from vases with slender mouths to lidded pots to wide bowls.
VERDICT This visually striking art book will appeal to all who appreciate the beauty of ikebana and might inspire readers to try their hand at creating their own hanaike using Ueno’s techniques.
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