azuma makoto on 'mexx', his monumental floral installation for SFER IK in mexico's jungle

azuma makoto on 'mexx', his monumental floral installation for SFER IK in mexico's jungle

SFER IK REOPENS WITH ‘MEXX’ SITE-SPECIFIC FLORAL INSTALLATION

 

japanese botanic sculptor azuma makoto has created a new floral installation for SFER IK, the interdisciplinary arts complex and centerpiece of AZULIK UH MAY, located in the jungle outside of tulum, mexico (see designboom’s previous coverage here and here). titled ‘mexx’, the site-specific project coincides with the institution’s reopening under the leadership of its new director marcello dantas on march 18, 2022. azuma’s largest work to date, ‘mexx’ was conceptualized in response to SFER IK’s unique biophilic design and the surrounding wilderness. it is made from locally-sourced materials similar to those involved in the museum’s construction – vines, concrete, and fiberglass – and incorporates an enormous array of live indigenous flowers. over the course of the exhibition, which will run until september 7, 2022, the installation will bloom into the museum space, blurring the line between man-made and natural. after dismantling the installation, SFER IK and the artist will donate all living flowers to the local community.

 

designboom reached out to azuma makoto to find out more about his upcoming installation. ‘as mexx is composed of all natural materials, you can feel the power of nature with all your senses and understand that humanity is just one with the natural environment,’ makoto tells us. ‘also, mexx will continuously evolve as the plants and flowers bloom and grow and then retreat as they wilt over time, simulating our lifecycle.’ read the interview in full below.

azuma makoto on 'mexx', his monumental floral installation for SFER IK in mexico's junglethe mexx by AMKK, courtesy of AMKK

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH AZUMA MAKOTO

 

designboom (DB): in your previous projects, you have set flowers in unconventional places, like within ice, in outer space, or underwater. now, your upcoming project will be installed in SFER IK museion in mexico. can you tell us a bit about your new site-specific sculpture dubbed ‘mexx’?

 

azuma makoto (AM): when I conceptualized this new installation, mexx, I was inspired by the unique architecture of SFER IK. I wanted to create a biophilic installation in the mayan jungle and designed mexx as a medium that creates a dialogue between humanity and nature. as every part of mexx is made of natural materials, viewers can feel the vitality of nature and enjoy the process of plants and flowers flourishing.

azuma makoto on 'mexx', his monumental floral installation for SFER IK in mexico's jungle
azuma makoto’s drawing for the mexx, courtesy of AMKK

 

DB: is there a particular message that you like to communicate to your audience through your work?

 

AM: the relationship between humanity and nature. as mexx is composed of all natural materials, you can feel the power of nature with all your senses and understand that humanity is just one with the natural environment. also, mexx will continuously evolve as the plants and flowers bloom and grow and then retreat as they wilt over time, simulating our lifecycle.

azuma makoto on 'mexx', his monumental floral installation for SFER IK in mexico's jungle
the mexx sketches, courtesy of AMKK

 

DB: flowers live for an extremely short time, but through your works, you try to make them immortal. how do you feel about the concept of passing time and decay?

 

AM: a flower is an art of time and also an epitome of life. it constantly changes its appearance as the lifecycle of flowers is short and momentary. because of this, the moment of a flower is even more precious and heavier than that of a human. I am always conscious of concepts of life and death. life and death exist next to each other, and I think that is where the beauty comes from. there are different stages of life in each plant – sprouts, buds, followed by the appearance of floral stems and the blooming of flowers until they decay. each moment differentiates from the other, beautiful and precious. my mission is to bring out each plant’s hidden potential and beauty, and make them even more attractive.

azuma makoto on 'mexx', his monumental floral installation for SFER IK in mexico's jungle
azuma makoto, exobiotanica 1, courtesy of AMKK | read more on designboom here

 

DB: flowers accompany us from the moment of birth to graduations, anniversaries, and funerals. however, people don’t always treat them with respect. do you think that humans and nature can successfully coexist?

 

AM: flowers are essential to our lives. from the moment of birth, weddings, anniversaries, to funerals, they accompany us from the beginning of life to death. the work of a florist is to tie humans and plants & flowers together, beautifully. that is why I am deeply honored with my work. human beings are part of nature, we cannot live without it. however, as you may all know, nature does not need us. that is why I think we need to delve deeply into our relationship. there is no doubt that since the industrial revolution, the way we live has changed drastically. these changes may have been necessary, but as we live today, we need to think about what it is to be a human being, and what does nature mean to us? we live in cities, but in this environment, we should think about how we can reconnect with nature. these actions will inform the way humans live hereafter – and help remind us of what makes us happy.

azuma-makoto-site-specific-mexx-installation-jungle-tulum-mexico-designboom-large

azuma makoto, frozen flowers, courtesy of AMKK | read more on designboom here

DB: what are some of the challenges of working with living materials? did you meet any difficulties in the execution of your latest project?

 

AM: flowers already represent the complete existence of beauty when they are in nature so I always keep in mind that my work should not be an imitation of nature; I must create different expressions of beauty. therefore, there is no artwork which I could easily create physically and mentally. lives of flowers and my life are adjoined, and that is why I can put my soul into my artwork by uniting myself with flowers. I would like to further explore new aspects of flowers and express their beauty by bringing out their charms.

azuma makoto on 'mexx', his monumental floral installation for SFER IK in mexico's jungle
azuma makoto, sephirothic flower, courtesy of AMKK | read more on designboom here

 

DB: is there a specific flower that you like to work with and incorporate into your sculptures?

 

AM: as every flower has a different fascination, I can’t choose a specific one. I use a flower when I can feel its vitality.

azuma makoto on 'mexx', his monumental floral installation for SFER IK in mexico's jungle
azuma makoto, sequia y nombre, courtesy of AMKK

azuma-makoto-site-specific-mexx-installation-jungle-tulum-mexico-designboom-large2

azuma makoto, sequia y nombre, courtesy of AMKK

project info:

 

name: mexx

artist: azuma makoto

location: SFER IK, uh may, tulum, mexico

duration: march 18- september 7, 2022

ART INTERVIEWS (75)

AZUMA MAKOTO (36)

FLOWER AND LEAF ART (149)

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5