in an open field in saitama — a popular city near tokyo — japanese artist azuma makoto has made his mark on the natural landscape. ‘back to the earth’ continues the creative’s ongoing research and experimentation in the ephemerality of botanical life. previously, makoto represented the stages of decomposition by creating a ‘box’ of flowers and leaves. the vegetation gradually morphed from a lush and vibrant shape filled with small red roses and pastel purple florets to a flattened, dull object that secreted brown fluid on the ground surrounding it.

 

this time, the artist demonstrates growth and decay through a huge, 4-meter-diameter circle of flowers made up of 10,000 colorful blooms.

azuma makoto flower circle

 

 

the 2-month long project, which started in may 2017, gradually changed over the course of time. azuma makoto began by carefully assembling 10,000 flowers into a circular formation atop a lushly overgrown landscape of grass. what started as a vibrant spiral of varied colorful blooms — including sunflowers, roses, and violets — eventually became a decayed stretch of stems, before finally merging into the grassy earth beneath it. makoto’s ongoing interest in ‘making flowers and plants more alive’, as well as the theme of ephemerality is ever-present in ‘back to the earth’. growth and decay become a beautiful union, and the cycles of life form a meditative moment for viewers to experience and enjoy.

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto flower circle

azuma makoto sculpts a spiral of 10,000 flowers that slowly decays back into the earth