Ikebana display at Agri Horticulture gardens this year
Statesman News Service
Kolkata, 7 February
The Agri Horticultural Society of India is hosting the 187th  Flower Show from 6 to 9 February in Kolkata. A small part of this magnificent show was “Whispering Flowers”, an Ikebana display, the theme of which was Palm Mania, this year. The display was inaugurated by Mrs Asako Takeda, president, Japanese Ladies Association.
For the uninitiated, Ikebana is a disciplined Japanese art form in which nature and humanity are brought together. Contrary to the idea of floral arrangement as a collection of multi-coloured arrangement of blooms, ikebana often emphasizes other areas of the plant, such as its stems and leaves, and draws emphasis toward shape, line and form. Though ikebana is a creative expression, it has certain rules governing its form. The artist’s intention behind each arrangement is shown through a piece’s colour combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the usually implied meaning of the arrangement.
The display was in keeping with the Wafu school of Ikebana arrangement. Unlike Ikenobo, the Wafu School, which was founded in 1896, during the Meiji era by Wafu Teshigahara, is a more relaxed and individualistic style of ikebana, which was suitable for display in the home.The show on display now, has followed the principles of basic ikebana ~ those of minimalism, harmony and of course beauty. The arrangements used various items such as twigs, earthenware, woven mats, fruits, coffee beans among other things.
However, keeping to the theme this year, each arrangement has used some variety of palm leaves, either fresh or dried, sometimes woven into mats or braided. The participants in the show included Ms Kazuko Nigam, Arundhati Sarkar, Lily More, Manjari Bajaria, Suvra Dutt, Sarita Chhawchharia, Devansh Rajgharia.
The participants are all seasoned artistes with extensive training over many years both in India and Japan. Their exquisite handiwork which is on display at the Air India Pavillion at Horticulture Centre exudes beauty and grace which is breathtaking and takes years to master.