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Freestyle Ikebana

- Maria Eleanor E. Valeros (The Philippine Star) - August 25, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - More than simply putting flowers in a container, ikebana was developed to emphasize how nature and humanity are brought together. This is contrary to the idea of floral arrangement as only a collection of parti-colored or multicolored arrangement of blooms.

Despite being a creative expression, ikebana has certain rules governing its form.

However, in an Ayala Center Cebu exhibit during the recent observance of the Japan-Philippines Friendship Week, it was learned that freestyling is the most recently developed style of ikebana (Japanese art of flower arrangement derived from ikeru meaning "to arrange" or "to put life into," and hana or "flower").

Also known as kado or way of flowers, ikebana this time is unconstrained by traditional rules. It seeks creative expression of balance and beauty subjectively through the arranger's aesthetic perception, technical skill and material preference.

The exhibit dubbed "Syncopated Synergy" shared that materials in freestyle ikebana are unrestricted. "The arranger may choose not just floral materials but anything one desires such as dried parts of plants, cardboards or discarded paper, geometric acrylic ornaments, scrap or welded metal, and many other possibilities."

Various techniques, as emphasized, are used to create the arrangement. Most common are writing, modifying leaves by cutting them into various shapes without reference to the original natural shapes; slashing, painting and whatever the arranger can think of to achieve the desired design.

Another interesting feature is the varied shapes of vases, and even the absence of it also becomes a salient element in the arrangement.

Freestyle is divided into two types: the naturalistic which expresses beauty without recreating nature; the other is abstract which purely emphasizes design concepts instead of referencing nature.

To compose a freestyle ikebana arrangement, some arrangers presented their creation pointing out the basic principles of formation, analysis of the elements of a plant's form, shape, color, texture and quantity which help decide how these are being used with other materials.

Further, the exhibit pronounced that considerations to a variety of materials ultimately influence the arranger's decisions such as the desired mass or volume, line, accent, and focal point.

Despite defying conventions, the composition evidently expresses still the individual's sense of color, proportion, contrast, rhythm, harmony, and balance.

ARRANGEMENT ARRANGER AYALA CENTER CEBU EXHIBIT FREESTYLE IKEBANA JAPAN-PHILIPPINES FRIENDSHIP WEEK MATERIALS NATURE SYNCOPATED SYNERGY
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