When we talk about floral art, the thought goes immediately to Ikebana, the ancient Japanese art that literally refers to the floral composition and therefore to the arrangement of flowers inside a vase, for example. And nowadays Ikebana has become a real artistic expression even in the West, adapting to the customs of our times and fitting perfectly into modern homes, becoming a fundamental part of everyday life.
The history of Ikebana is very ancient and unlike what one might think, it was born in China thirteen centuries ago, during the Tang dynasty, then ruler of the entire eastern area. It was the Japanese ambassadors who put off being fascinated by this custom and introduced it to their nation, where Buddhism foresaw the custom of offering flowers to the gods, at the beginning of the 6th century. And in Japan, little by little, Ikebana became a real discipline, based essentially on the profound relationship between nature and man, in particular on the rhythm of the seasons, to be strictly respected in floral compositions, with the balance between spaces and the shapes.
Even this particular form of art was practiced by the Samurai, since it is considered suitable to free and purify the mind and suited to martial customs.
There are various styles of Ikebana but the element that unites them is undoubtedly the ternary arrangement, ie the triangle shape of the composition of the flowers, where the sides symbolize man, the sky and the earth.
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE HIKE
In the composition branches or country or garden flowers are used which, due to their beauty and harmony with nature, are appreciated for their spontaneous growth. It is known, however, that in this discipline, more than colors and shapes, lines are especially important. The flowers - generally used when they are still closed buds -, whatever their colors and shapes, the common lines are preferred for the compositions, simple but so harmoniously perfect of the branches. The lush branches of trees or those with broad leaves are used only when the leaves have yet to open. In the art of Ikebana it is essential that the lines of the branch remain uncovered and not overshadowed by leaves and flowers that have already blossomed. Furthermore, if branches are already in bloom, they will dry sooner and last less, thus becoming an emblem of decomposition and death.
THE TERNARY COMPOSITION
As already mentioned, the composition of flowers in the Ikebana is ternary, based on the man-sky-earth triangle. The fundamental element of the group is undoubtedly the stem - called primary or "Shin" - which symbolizes the sky. This represents the axis of the entire composition and for this reason it must be strong and vigorous.
Next to the Shin there is then the "Soe", or secondary stem, emblem of man, positioned at two thirds of the length from the primary.
And then there is the "Hikae" or tertiary stem, the shortest and symbol of the earth. This is placed in front of the other two and together with these is fixed on the same support, thus giving the idea of belonging to the same stock.
To the composition it is possible then to add other flowers to create a richer whole but the base is always formed by the three elements mentioned.
THE HIKE IN TODAY
Modern Ikebana is based primarily on the theory of colors - founded on the principles of Munsell and Goethe - that of forms, taken from the oldest Japanese floral art. It is for this reason that the floral compositions of our day are made on chromatic principles and on formal definitions.
In the composition it is in fact thought to create a harmony or a particular contrast between the colors and to define a shape that can be a sphere, non-formal or linear. And it is the interaction between chromaticity and form that creates the composition that becomes a true work of art.
Floral art: FLORAL ART IN THE WEST
Even in the West the floral composition tends to take a look at the philosophy of Ikebana, getting closer and closer to the idea of real art of flowers.
If you want to pursue a career in the world of flowers, to be able to achieve artistic compositions in total autonomy, it is good to assimilate the basics of floral art.
The ideal would be to attend a school or take specific courses such as "floral decorations for weddings", or "the mazzeria": this to learn about the professional materials indispensable to this art and learn to use them to the fullest. If you do not have time to attend a real school, today there is e-learning: these are real courses on the web that reproduce live lessons, done in the classroom.
This formula has recently had great success: from home and in the most convenient time, you can learn all the secrets of flower composition and the secrets of the most successful florists in the world of artistic flower arrangement.