Saturday, November 24, 2007
Ikebana and aesthetics
When I am caught up with my day-to-day life, trying to be practical, rational and maximising my time, all I need is an exposure to the Japanese to suddenly bring me into the world of aesthetics.
It never fails, happens all the time. Whether it is seeing them work in an Ikebana class, decorating their food or giving a gift. I am left feeling clumsy and uncouth and bumbling (add to this the fact that I'm almost twice their size!)
When they attend a class, they will work in such a way that there will hardly be any mess around. Whereas I will litter the place around me, and then clean up!
The dish they use to serve their food, the way they present it is as important as the food itself. I would just clunk the food down in the first dish I can lay my hands on.
They will give a gift in a wrapper which is so beautiful that you dont feel like opening the present!
Ikebana has definitely improved my sensitivity to and appreciation of aesthetics. I really look forward to the monthly workshops, its the time to leave my routine behind, relax, meet a bunch of lovely ladies and work with flowers.
What do you think?
(In case you are wondering what the picture is, its the dessert served to us at the Sogetsu 80th anniversary dinner in Tokyo! I did eat it, after capturing it for posterity in this photograph.)