Chris Komai - - 213-830-5648


One of Three Schools Participating in 'Living Flowers' Exhibition

The Ohara School of Ikebana Los Angeles Chapter, one of the three schools participating in the Japanese American National Museum’s art exhibition, Living Flowers: Ikebana and Contemporary Art, will give a demonstration of their work and techniques on Sunday, Aug. 24, beginning at 2 p.m. at the National Museum in Little Tokyo.

Living Flowers notes the interactions between the practice of ikebana and contemporary art, including the creation of suitable vessels for the arrangements, the use of plant material in installations and spatial compositions and concepts derived from ikebana traditions. In turn, an examination of contemporary art illuminates the principles and practices of ikebana.

The exhibition displays the works of three local ikebana schools next to contemporary art by individuals such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Isamu Noguchi and Anya Gallaccio. Besides the Ohara School, the exhibition highlights flower arrangements by the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Los Angeles and Sogetsu Los Angeles Branch. Each school maintains four different arrangements in and around the galleries, creating new displays on a regular basis. The exhibition is designed by Escher GuneWardena Architecture, a partnership between Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena. The firm is known for its designs that emphasize sustainability, affordability and the dialogue between form and construction.

The Ohara School was founded by Unshin Ohara (1861-1916) during the Meiji Era (1867-1912) in Japan, when Western influences were introduced into the country. The inclusion of Western flowers and the introduction of tray-like containers (Unshin Ohara was also a sculptor) led to a style that expressed the beauty of natural scenery.

This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the Aratani Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Metlife Foundation Museum Connections Program, The James Irvine Foundation, E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, The Steven and Kelly McLeod Family Foundation, Michael W. Oshima & Chiaki Tanaka, Ph.D., UCLA Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, Pasadena Art Alliance, and Mariko O. Gordon & Hugh A. Cosman. Media sponsors include the Los Angeles Downtown News, LA18 KSCI-TV, and The Rafu Shimpo. Public programs are supported, in part, by Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.

This program is free to National Museum members or with general admission. For more information, call the Japanese American National Museum at (213) 625-0414.