Expressing hope through floral arrangements
A non-governmental organization, Pakistan Blooms, joined forces with the Indus Sogestu study group and organized a Sogestu Ikebana flower exhibition, titled “Bahar Ai”, on Friday to mark the advent of the spring season at Lucky One shopping center. from Karachi.
The purpose of the exhibition was to promote the extravagance of Japanese flower arrangements. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. He is also known as Kado. The tradition dates back to the Heian period when flower offerings were made on altars.
Dignitaries and notable personalities, including the Consul General of Japan, Toshikazu Isomura, attended the event. The event’s trainer, Nafisa Tapal, director of the Indus Sogestu study group, has over 16 students teaching Ikebana across the world. She also teaches Ikebana at the Japanese Consulate. In 1999, she became a teacher of Ikebana and at the time organized a big show at the FTC Building.
Nafisa was the pioneer of the Ikebana study group in Pakistan. “Ikebana is a Japanese flower arrangement. The Sogestu is its most modern [technique]», She declared, explaining that in Sogestu, it does not matter where and with what objects the artist creates the flower arrangement. “There is no obligation to [make the arrangement] with flowers, ”she said. Sometimes the arrangements are made with stones, dry branches and flowers as well.
The traditional Ikebana, she said, was meant to be placed in a particular location, but the Sogestu could be placed on stairs and even inside toilets. “Those [arrangements] can also be displayed in malls, stores and streets, ”she said.
What makes Ikebana different? “Less is more,” she said, adding that in Ikebana arrangements there should be as much space in the plants as a butterfly can fly. “In Ikebana, there must be hope in the flower arrangement, and hope should flourish,” she said. “Ikebana teaches you to be humble.”
In the exhibition, Sogestu arrangements explain different couplets in Urdu. “Through poetry, we want to tell people how our poems can be represented in arrangements,” she said. The arrangements are mostly for spring, so different Urdu couplets on the season have been explained in the arrangements in which the budding flowers emerging from the stems are depicted.
Neveen Syed, teacher in the Lahore Sugesto study group, had his arrangements in the exhibit. “We picked a verse in Urdu and described it in our arrangements,” she said, adding that since there is the Spring Festival, most of the verses are about spring.
One of her arrangements has a yellow container and she painted all the plant stems yellow from which flowers sprouted, which she said represented hope. For another verse “Millat Ke Sath Rabta Ustawar Rakh / Pewasta Reh Shajar se, Umeed-e-Bahar Rakh [Keep a close contact with the nation; remain attached to the green and expect that the spring will come]”, She showed good people in society growing through bud flowers and below there is autumn, which she portrayed through dry woods and leaves.
This work of art, she said, is like a floral meditation. “When you go into learning, everything is calm and quiet,” she said, adding that to learn this art you need to have a calm inner self and a peaceful environment. The exhibition will continue until Sunday February 28.