20 November 2019

Call for Ikebana Demonstrators


Would you like to be a demonstrator at Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival?

メルボルン生け花フェスティバルで、デモをして下さる方を世界中から大募集します。
詳細:参加要項

We are looking for 7 demonstrators for our Ikebana Demonstration at Wa. Applicants have to be a qualified Ikebana teacher and exhibitor for Wa Ikebana Exhibition. The duration of demonstration for each demonstrator is strictly 6 minutes. Due to the large size of our stage, we welcome a large work (80 cm or higher). 

When: Saturday 19 September 2020, 12am – 1pm
Where: Rosina Auditorium, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne
https://abbotsfordconvent.com.au/visit/visitor-information
How to Apply: Please apply using our application form for Wa Ikebana exhibition.
When to Apply: Application will open on 1 January 2020.

* Successful applicants will be notified by 31 August 2020.
*Wa will pay Aus$50 to each demonstrator. Domestic (Australian) demonstrators will be paid by bank transfer within 4 weeks after the event.
*There will be a meeting before the event with our project managers. 
*You can talk during your demo. Alternatively our MC will introduce you and talk about your work. In this case, you need to provide us with a written document (up to 600 words). 
*You may work with your assistants.
*Please read our exhibitor guideline & application pages carefully.

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17 October 2019

Call for Papers: Melbourne Ikebana Conference


Melbourne Ikebana Conference 2020

When: 4pm, Saturday 19 September 2020
Where: Rosina Auditorium, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne
Abstract Submission Deadline: 30 June 2020

Melbourne Ikebana Conference 2020 is a regular conference organised by the International Society of Ikebana Studies in association with Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival. If you would like to present a paper in this conference, please send your abstract (250 words) to wa.ikebana@gmail.com.

We welcome any research topic on ikebana. Sample topics are listed in this page.

It is recommended to submit your abstract early. If your abstract is accepted, you normally hear from us within 2 weeks.

If accepted, you are expected to talk for 20 min. at the conference, and you are encouraged to submit a full paper for inclusion in the International Journal of Ikebana Studies.   
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07 October 2019

Ikebana Performance in the Wa 2020


Booking will open soon. 

Ikebana


In the twentieth century, modernist art movements such as Cubism and Abstract Art moved from depicting the outside world as it is seen to a focus on the true reality of objects in the material world.

In Senno Kuden (1542), one of the early texts on ikebana (the art of Japanese flower arranging), Senno proposed that ikebana should be created based on the “omokage” of the floral and leaf materials in an arrangement. Omokage is not the image we see but is the conceptual essence of the materials. Just like some Cubist artists moved their focus from visual imitation to conceptual representation, ikebana artists move beyond the visual image of the flowers and through meditation, seek to grasp their essence.

Senno also thought that ikebana represents “onozukara naru sugata”, the essence of the universe. In the same way that Abstract Art can be seen to represent virtues such as order, purity, simplicity and spirituality, ikebana is searching for this essence of the universe, which I call Wa: Fluid Harmony in my performance.

Ikebana Performance

Inspired by Abstract Expressionism, artists like Georges Mathieu and Kazuo Shiraga used performance to show that the act of creating an artwork can be equally important as the final product.

In an Ikebana performance, the focus is on the process of creation as much as the end result. The artist has an image of the final destination, but there is no fixed plan. The artist, the material, the musicians and the music form a symbiotic relationship that is constantly transforming the whole composition of the work. Marcel Duchamp and Lewis Carroll were fascinated with these kinds of transformations that share an aspect of chess. 


The emerging work is a dynamic matrix, an unpredictable arrangement of symmetry and asymmetry that incorporates the influence of the music into its design and execution.

Shoso Shimbo, PhD 

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27 September 2019

Comments on Wa 2019


Wa 2019 was a great success. Thank you all for your hard work. Shoso’s thank you message at the opening: https://www.shoso.com.au/2019/09/shosos-speech-at-opening-of-wa-2019.html
Some of comments we received:

“Thank you for the immense amount of organization on the part of yourself and the committee to make the Ikebana Festival such a successful event. I feel fortunate to have found your school and such a talented and dedicated group of artists to work with. I look forward to the 2020 Festival”

“この度は素晴らしい時間を過ごさせていただきました事、大変感謝しております。また、皆さまにも大変お世話になりました。次回また、皆様にお会いできればこんなに嬉しいことはありません。ありがとうございました。”

“Thanks for the great team effort during the weekend. Well done everyone. “

“ I’m writing to thank you for organising such a lovely concert last night. I hope you were happy with the outcome. It certainly was a great experience for all who attended.”

“I am pleased that the Wa Festival was successful. I do know what a huge amount of work goes into such an event.”
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07 September 2019

Shoso's Speech at the Opening of Wa 2019


Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival. I’d particularly like to welcome our special guests, representer of Dr Tien Kieu, Member of the Victorian Parliament, Daniel Nguyen, City of Yarra Councillor, Wadaiko Rindo, and Trish Nicholls of Ikebana International, but it’s great to see so many of you here and you are all very welcome.
All of you are part of this first international Ikebana festival. When I said we should call our next exhibition an ikebana festival, not an ikebana exhibition, some of my students laughed, saying “That sounds too big for us”. It is true that it was a bit ambitious, but we needed it and we achieved it thanks to you all.

Why did we need Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival?
Firstly, because it can be a very effective vehicle to promote ikebana. Ikebana is not very well recognised in Australia, although it was introduced here over 60 years ago. Many organisations organise exhibitions regularly and some of them have invited ikebana masters from Japan. That is wonderful, but I believe we need to do more to reach the wider community.
Secondly, contemporary conditions have changed. Many people see climate change and environmental sustainability as the biggest problems we face today. Ikebana has a role to play here. Ikebana can teach us that nature is not our resource but rather we are part of nature.
The history of Ikebana suggests that its role has been rather passive for five centuries. For instance, when the middle class emerged in the Edo period, ikebana developed simplified styles to accommodate their needs. When Western culture was introduced to Japan, Ikebana changed again to adjust to the social change. If society changes, ikebana changes. 

But right now may be a time when ikebana can lead contemporary culture. We, alone, cannot change the environment, but by promoting and supporting ikebana, we may be able to influence people to change their way of thinking about the environment. Ikebana has a role to promote a new attitude to nature, which is actually very ancient.


I will talk more about ikebana and nature tomorrow morning.
However, the journey to our inaugural Melbourne Ikebana Festival was not an easy one. We would not have been able to achieve this without the hard work of the team, our committee, sponsors, an anonymous sponsor, many volunteers and all the exhibitors. Thank you all very much.

In particular, I would like to thank the team, Shoan, Shoto, Shokai, Sue, Ryoko and Takako who spent so many hours for this event. Whenever there was a problem they had a solution. They are a very creative and dynamic team and this small budget international culture festival needed just this team. Every time we overcame our problems we realised that we were stronger.
We have overcome many hurdles. The first big hurdle was when a group of people decided to leave Wa, making us a very small group, simply too small to claim "Melbourne Ikebana Festival".
We decided to recruit exhibitors from outside and we successfully recruited wonderful exhibitors including 3 international and 2 interstate exhibitors. We really appreciate their being with us today and their belief in us.
The second was when we were unable to afford to invite a master teacher from Japan. The quote I received was simply too much for us, and I could not ask our students to support my plan.

We had to change our approach. Rather than asking external support, we had to do whatever we could do to make this event an international festival. We organised talks, demos, workshops, markets, and performances. We aimed to show many aspects of ikebana to promote it.
As a result, we were featured in some important media such as 3MBS. Wadaiko Rindo came to show their support for our hard work. International Society of Ikebana Studies decided to co-host a conference with us regularly. Consequently, many of our events have been sold out.
I feel that bringing this Melbourne Ikebana Festival to life was almost a miracle. That miracle was due to the power of Ikebana and power of people who believe in the significance of this event.
http://www.shoso.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/ikebanaaustralia
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04 September 2019

Ikebana Conference at Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival

IMG_3329 (1)IMG_3331



International Society of Ikebana Studies, Regular Conference, September 2019

Shoso Shimbo, PhD talked about the rise of free style ikebana in 1920's as part of Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival.


When: 9 am, 1 September 2019
Where: Rosina Auditorium, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne

Influence of the Western Modernism on Perception of Nature in Ikebana: A New Interpretation of Ikenobo Senno Kuden (1542) and Its Hidden Link to the Rise of Free Style in the Modern Japan
Western culture, in particular the Modernism Art Movement, has had an influence on Ikebana since the Meiji period (1868 - 1912). As such, Ikebana has undergone a cultural transformation that is closely related to a redefinition of Ikebana, incorporating a reconsideration of the attitude to nature in Japan. This study focuses on works by Suido Yamane (1893 - 1966), Mirei Shigemori (1896 -1975) and Hiroshi Teshigahara (1927 - 2001) who were particularly conscious of the influence of Western culture on Ikebana.

My talk today is a small part of my research on influence of the Western culture on Ikebana, and it focuses on Suido Yamane who proposed free style arrangements in the 1920’s for the first time in the history of Ikebana. I would like to focus on the relationship between Ikenobo Senno Kuden in the 16th century and emergence of free style Ikebana in the 1920’s.

There is an argument that, in modern Japan under the influence of Western culture, there was a shift in the view of what Ikebana symbolically represents – from universal structural orders to life energy. However, these external and internal approaches were both mentioned in the classic Ikebana text, Ikenobo Senno Kuden (1542). This concept of Ikebana as a representation of life energy did not begin with the reformers in 1920’s & 1930’s, it has been around since the early stage of development in Ikebana and deserves more attention.

This study suggests that with encountering Western culture, Ikebana artists and theorists became aware of the differences in the perception of nature in the West and in Japan. In their effort to incorporate Western attitudes to nature into Ikebana, they needed to reconsider the essence of Ikebana, and develop new theories on Ikebana. This study also suggests that those new theories are often based on Eastern philosophy.

http://www.shoso.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/ikebanaaustralia
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Thank you for giving us a full house!


Thank you for giving us a full house!

Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival presented Ikebana artist Shoso Shimbo in concert with the Grigoryan Brothers on 31 August 2019. Shoso created 2 large Ikebana works in one hour with assistance from Shoan, Shokai and Shoto. Thank you all for your great support.

Shoso will work with a master jazz pianist, Paul Grabowsky on 20 September 2020 as a part of Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival. Details will be announced in Shoso's website shortly.

http://www.shoso.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/ikebanaaustralia
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28 August 2019

Professor Kieu at Wa Opening



We are pleased to announce that Dr Tien Kieu, Member of the Victorian Parliament will be attending the opening ceremony of Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival. Other special guests include City of Yarra Councillor Daniel Nguyen, Wadaiko Rindo, and Trish Nicholls (Ikebana International).

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/from-boat-person-to-victorian-mp-tien-kieu-s-incredible-journey-20190215-p50y2r.html?fbclid=IwAR0kT9a_CZHpCp52bjT5sz4oFhCDMT2JvXRsE6zJ7bOGtk_descuEk3_XR4
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