Wa modern

As the Japan Foundation web site says:

Wa Modern is a blend of cherished traditional Japanese crafts (floral arrangement, ceramics and calligraphy) presented as one. For a limited time only from 9–16 October, floral artist Setsuko Yanagisawa, ceramist Malcolm Greenwood and calligraphy artist Ren Yano come together in their first mixed media collaboration at the Japan Foundation Gallery.

We trotted off to Chifley Square this afternoon. Really, it’s a brilliant exhibition, and exactly as advertised the three crafts speak to each other and with each other in wonderful harmony. The flower arrangements are based in ikebana and use Australian plants. The pottery could have been created for these arrangements. The calligraphy, to my completely uneducated eye, seemed to have taken liberties with tradition, to be looser, more relaxed, more – possibly – Australianish.

As we were leaving the young woman at the front desk asked if I’d taken any photos, and when I said I hadn’t told me I should come back with a camera. So I whipped out my phone for a couple of parting snaps.

Some dramatic waratahs:


A big arrangement. You can’t really see it in the photo, but those poppies appear to be standing in a shallow pool of water on the shell-like pottery dish, defying gravity. Looking closer, one sees that the poppy stems are actually supported by being pierced by thorns on the branch that lies across the dish


The exhibition is open all week. I recommend it.

4 responses to “Wa modern

  1. I don’t know if you know this, but I have a thing for waratahs. I so hope I can make it in to see this, but alas, I doubt it. So special thanks for the pic!


  2. I didn’t know. In that case, I’m sorry it’s just a phone snap.


  3. I am pleased to discover that you appreciate floristry, Jonathan.


  4. I’m a big fan of our local florist Jodie McGregor, Cassandra, but I wouldn’t say I appreciate floristry as such. Ikebana is more like evanescent sculpture to my way of thinking – not that I undestand much of it either.


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