azuma makoto sends 50 year old bonzai tree into space for exobiotanica project
azuma makoto sends 50 year old bonzai tree into space for exobiotanica project azuma makoto sends 50 year old bonzai tree into space for exobiotanica project
jul 21, 2014
azuma makoto sends 50 year old bonzai tree into space for exobiotanica project


azuma makoto sends 50 year old bonzai tree into space for exobiotanica project
all images courtesy azuma makoto

 

 

 

tokyo-based artist azuma makoto in collaboration with john powell of JP aerospace have completed a botanical space flight, sending a japanese white pine bonsai suspended from a carbon-fiber frame, and an arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, among other plants into the stratosphere. launched with a specially equipped balloon from black rock desert in nevada, the mission, entitled ‘exbiotanica’, was conceptualized to let different plants step into the unknown, away from earth.

azuma makoto launches 50 year old botanical bonzai tree into outer space

 

 

‘we needed to shoot the photos and video at an attitude of 30,000 meters and temperature of minus 50 degrees,’ explains makoto. ‘since there was a strict weight limit for loaded items, it was a continuous process of trial and error to choose the shooting equipments and settings, based on experiences and estimation of unknown.’ six GoPro video cameras tied in a ball would record the bonsai and the flowers’ voyage to the stratosphere and back, visualized in 360 degrees.

azuma makoto launches 50 year old botanical bonzai tree into outer space

 

 

‘plants on the earth rooted in the soil, under the command of gravity. roots, soil and gravity – by giving up the links to life, what kind of ‘beauty’ shall be born? within the harsh ‘nature’, at an attitude of 30,000 meters and minus 50 degrees celsius, the plants evolve into exbiota (extraterrestrial life). a pine tree confronting the ridge line of the earth. a bouquet of flowers marching towards the sun hit by the intense wind. freed from everything, the plants shall head to the space.’azuma makoto

azuma makoto launches 50 year old botanical bonzai tree into outer space

 the sequence of high-resolution photos capture the ‘life and death’ of the plant with the edge of earth as its backdrop

azuma makoto launches 50 year old botanical bonzai tree into outer space

azuma makoto used brightly colored flowers from around the world to contrast against the ‘darkness of space’ 

azuma makoto launches 50 year old botanical bonzai tree into outer space

the botanical exhibition captures and documents the take-off, deployment and landing

azuma makoto launches 50 year old botanical bonzai tree into outer space

a spot GPS tracker was used to help locate the carbon fibre frame once it fell down back to earth

azuma makoto launches 50 year old botanical bonzai tree into outer space
the launch from black rock desert in nevada

 

 

project information:

 

exobiotanica special team: AMKK + six

artwork: azuma makoto

photographer: shunsuke shiinoki

project manager: eri narita

supporter: masumi sasaki

 

creative director + copywriter: tsubasa oyagi

art director + logo design: naonori yago

space engineer: john powell

movie director: hideharu ueki

web director: kampei baba

photographer: naoyuki noda

sound design: evala

producer: yosuke shigemura, motoki tomatsu

production manager: tatsuro warikata

production company: hakuhodo products

 

special thanks to: JP aerospace, fujifilm corporation, GoPro, 3D survey plus llc, kadinche

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azuma makoto (18 articles)