Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Tetsunori Kawana Creates TANJOU Sculpture of Salvaged Wood at the Garden

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Exhibitions on September 16 2011, by Ann Rafalko

Today is the Member’s Preview Day of our latest exhibition, Fall Flowers of Japan. And while entrance to the exhibition today is Members-only, we figured we would offer a different kind of sneak peek to our friends in cyberspace. As part of Fall Flowers of Japan, world-renowned ikebana master Tetsunori Kawana has created a gorgeous installation–TANJOU, which means rebirth–in the pool of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory’s Palm Dome. TANJOU is created of materials gathered from Garden grounds in the aftermath of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.

Kawana worked with Garden volunteers and students from the School of Professional Horticulture to construct this beautiful sculpture highlighting the forms of the branches, stumps, roots, vines, and twigs from the trees that were damaged when by the storms. Through gathering and reassembling these items, Kawana seeks to give them a second life as a truly site-specific work of art that engages the five senses and encourages appreciation of the passage of time and the five natural elements of earth, wind, fire, water, and sky.

This is the third sculpture that Kawana, a Master Teacher of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana in Tokyo, has created for the Garden, and the first non-bamboo one. Founded in 1927, the Sogetsu School encouraged practitioners of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, to incorporate personal style and artistic vision into designs that remain engaged with traditional principles. Kawana is known worldwide for his modern, large-scale installations that embrace these ideals while making use of new materials and new techniques.

Tetsunori Kawana shows preliminary sketches of his design to Garden staff.

Tetsunori Kawana shows preliminary sketches of his design to Garden staff.
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Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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