FAQ

Q & A


Q: What is Wa?

A: Wa in Japanese means harmony. Wa has been a central value in Japanese culture and society for centuries. Consequently it has multiple meanings according to the contexts. Wa depicts a dynamic rather than a static state. From Wa, something new is created.

Q: What is your mission?
A: Our mission is to promote Ikebana, meditative art form working harmoniously with nature to the wider community that eagerly awaits such healing. Please see the revised statements.     

Q: What is Ikebana?

A: There are many definitions of Ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement. Arguably the most significant one was presented by Senno Ikenobo around 1542. He defined Ikebana as a symbolic representation of the universe. His insight was so profound and spiritual that it raised Ikebana above the level of just a decorative art. His view on nature has a lot in common with the view of nature in the Japanese spiritual tradition. Ikebana seeks a balance between human beings and nature. For many people, Ikebana is a form of spiritual training leading towards enlightenment.

Q: What is the history of Wa?

A: In 2015 three experienced Japanese Ikebana teachers, Yukako Brown (Ikenobo Melbourne Chapter), Naomi Cullen (Ichiyo School of Ikebana Melbourne Branch) and Shoso Shimbo (Sogetsu School) formed Wa to revitalise Ikebana in Melbourne and organised the first joint exhibition at Abbotsford Convent. Since then, Wa has presented an exhibition every year with a growing number of exhibitors and public interest.

In 2019 Wa will further expand, aiming to be the most welcoming Ikebana event. Wa has become Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival, inviting more exhibitors and visitors locally and internationally.

In addition to an Exhibition, Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival incorporates various Ikebana related events and activities such as Ikebana workshops, Ikebana demonstrations, Ikebana market and Ikebana performances.

Q: What are the special features of this exhibition?

A: The Ikenobo, Ichiyo and Sogetsu schools have different approaches to flowers. In particular, Ikenobo and Sogetsu have almost the opposite approach. While Ikenobo respects the original forms of the flower in nature, the priority for Sogetsu is the creativity of individual practitioners.

Another great features of this exhibition is that it provides an opportunity even for beginners to take part in an exhibition. It is very rare particularly in Australia for Ikebana students to be able to exhibit their work in public.

This exhibition is therefore harmony of different approaches to Ikebana and many exhibitors with different stages of development.

Q: How do I start learning Ikebana?

A: Please find an Ikebana teacher near you. Visit our page, Ikebana teachers at Wa.

Some schools may offer short trial courses or workshops. But normally learning Ikebana takes a few years. It is often a lifetime commitment. If you would like to live with flowers to enhance your quality of life everyday for the rest of your life, Ikebana is for you.

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