Azuma Makoto has recently displayed two exhibitions, Gaibu-Outside and Naibu-Inside, both of which feature decomposing flower landscapes that demonstrate the balance between life and death.
Japanese floral artist, Azuma Makoto, presents two experiments on decomposition at the Oi Futuro museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The project, opening alongside Daniel Arsham’s zen garden installation at the Oi Futuro, includes a cut flower garden on the exterior of the museum and a large installation of flowers in the interior gallery space. Both elements study the decomposition of flowers at different scales.
The cut flower garden, entitled Gaibu-Outside, decomposes in full view of the passers-by on an open field. Makoto envisioned the piece as a form of reverse agriculture as the flowers are planted to die. The symbolic work alludes to the Buddhist contemplation of life and death, impermanence and material temporality.
The interior element of the project, titled Naibu-Inside, is a large installation which allows one to follow the process of the flowers’ decomposition in detail, as they are enveloped in a large glass box. Through both the cut garden and glass box, viewers can confront the death of the blooms at different scales and interactions.
The curator of the two exhibitions explains that: “We learn from an early age to avoid seeing, touching and feeling the death and decomposition of any living being, and to let ourselves experience it is a rare opportunity for transcendence.”
Makoto’s past works have challenged the limits of nature through his floral creations, including experiments with flowers in space.