azuma makoto documents a bonsai tree’s 10-year journey around the globe
photography by shunsuke shiinoki / courtesy of azuma makoto




azuma makoto: shiki — landscape and beyond
zhulong gallery, dallas
october 23 through december 5, 2015



from now until december 5, 2015, dallas’ zhulong gallery presents ‘shiki: landscape and beyond’, an exhibition of sculpture and photographic works by floral sculptor azuma makoto. a series of large-format photographs, shot by azuma’s collaborator shunsuke shiinoki, illustrates the nearly ten year journey of a bonsai tree around, and above, the globe. encapsulated by an open steel frame, the suspended botanical sculpture has traveled from derelict government spaces, to sublime natural landscapes, some in extreme environments that these plants would never naturally inhabit.

‘shiki I x sanddune III’




makoto’s sculptural work takes command over any space it is installed in, whether architectural or environmental. uniting art and technology, the artist pushes the ikebana tradition (the japanese art of flower arrangement) beyond its usual limits. for example, in makoto’s exobiotanica series, he floated ‘shiki I’ into the stratosphere, capturing the epic journey in thousands of images. these galactic photos propose an ethereal almost spiritual journey, which clearly associates the work and its journey to the life of the sculptor, and ours as well.

‘shiki I x powerplant’




‘within the square frame, which is a restriction put into place by human (a limit), the infiniteness of nature (limitless) is contained – there is a certain ‘friction’ that is brought about here,’ makoto writes. ‘I worked to derive a sense of the powerfulness and beauty of the pine, showing the true essence of the plant. in each of my works, there is this friction. if a phenomenon occurs and there isn’t anything rough left, nothing can come from it.’

‘shiki I x underwater’

‘shiki I x destroyed monument’

‘shiki I x waterfall’

‘shiki I x geyser’

‘shiki I x airplane’

‘shiki I x space’

‘shiki I x sanddune I’

‘shiki I x geyser II’

‘shiki I x space’

‘shiki I x glacier II’

‘shiki I x sanddune II’

‘shiki I x space’

‘shiki I x glacier I’