Participation from the 31st of March till the end of June 2015

Ryoko Nishimura is an ‘ikebana’ (flower-arranging) artist from Kyoto, where she owns her own flower shop. She stayed for three months in Amsterdam and organized a huge flower exposition called the United Flowers on the Watergardens of Hobbemakade. Her project was mentioned in at least two different Dutch newspapers and also the Japanese ambassador paid a visit to her exposition.

Plan before participating
“My reason for applying to the residence program is that while I persuaded the uniquely developed ikebana (flower arrangement) of Japan, I wondered about how the flower culture in other countries is, and also what the Japanese aspect of ikebana is. The Netherlands is known to the world as the ‘Flower country͟’ and I developed an interest in how Amsterdam has water just as my hometown Kyoto, however where one is an artificial canal, and the other a natural river.  I applied for Deshima AIR with the goal of holding the flower exhibition I did in the ‘Takase River’ in Kyoto in 2012 in the canals of Amsterdam.”

My process during participation
“Compared to the other participants, my stay was longer, as I stayed for 3 months. With the cooperation of the Deshima AIR support members and the local people, we were able to hold the flower exhibition in the canal that flows next to the National Museum of Amsterdam. It took about a month to search for ideas and collaborators, and about a month of preparation for actual production, but we were able to float 60 meters of ‘flower rafts’ on the canal.

A lot of people who came, whether they knew about it or not, kindly said the following: “It is like a present to Amsterdam!” It made me very happy. The differences between Japan, I felt, were not only during the event, but also during the preparations with my small bike at the canal, shopping at the local supermarket and the ever day’s little nothings. I was able to learn a lot about the daily life from those who live there.”

After the project participation
“By participating in Deshima AIR, I once again felt that art was formed by an accumulation from the past of the country’s topography, culture and people. It was an irreplaceable and valuable experience in continuing to continue Japanese art rooted in everyday life called a flower. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all those who supported my activities in Amsterdam.”

Nishimura wanted to learn about the Dutch flower culture and teach the Dutch people a little bit about ikebana. She gave several workshops to people interested in Ikebana and did an internship at Dutch flower shop Sas bloemiste in Edam.

United Flowers Amsterdam makes a special Japanese art form visible to a large audience.’

–AFK (Amsterdams Fonds voor Kunst)

Please visit her website: > http://florist-westvillage.com/ <

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