15 MAY 2024

The Lore: Reframe The Way You View Flowers Through The Lens Of Azuma Makoto

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Azuma Makoto is a botanical artist that is known for his daring experiments on flowers. From launching them into space to submerging them in the deep sea, he tests the limits of these blooms, for which he holds immense respect and love.

In Bloom #1: EXOBIOTANICA I-BOTANICAL SPACE FLIGHT.
Photo credit: Azuma Makoto
 
That passion for flowers blossomed while working at the Ota Flower Market. In 2002, alongside his fellow florist and bandmate Shunsuke Shiinoki, he opened Jardin des Fleurs, his own flower shop. The shop is located in the basement to ensure that his flowers are not affected by sunlight, excessive temperatures and noise. Makoto's desire to take his artistry to the next echelon led him to establish Azuma Makoto Kaju Kenkyusho (AMKK) in 2009, a dedicated experimental laboratory for his artistic pursuits.

Jardin des Fleurs, Azuma Makoto's flower shop.
Photo credit: Azuma Makoto
 

Makoto believes flowers play a profound role in our lives, accompanying us from birth to celebrations and even in death. He sees them as embodiments of both beauty and resilience, and his mission is to unlock their hidden potential through his floral arrangements. “You have to treat each flower with care. Just like humans, no two are the same. Unless you respect each flower’s life, the arrangement won't come out right” Azuma Makoto said via an interview with JAPAN HOUSE.

Azuma Makoto in an interview with JAPAN HOUSE.
Photo credit: JAPAN HOUSE

This belief fuels his artistic experiments. His projects involve placing his flowers in extreme environments on the seabed, among fireworks and frozen on a lake in Hokkaido, Japan ("Frozen Flowers," an ongoing project). Over time, Makoto has witnessed the effects of climate change on the peninsula, and aims to continue installing new versions of the icy blooms for years to come in order to document the ever-evolving environment.

Botanical Sculpture x In Bloom project — Sea #2.
Photo credit: Azuma Makoto

Botanical Sculpture: Hanabi.
Photo credit: Azuma Makoto
 
Botanical Sculpture: Frozen Flowers 2023.
Photo credit: Azuma Makoto
 
Most recently, Makoto contributed his exhibit, "A Chaotic Garden," to the NGV Triennial in Melbourne (December 2023 – April 2024). Here, he paid homage to the magical beauty and the life force of plants by freezing flowers at their peak in crystalline acrylic blocks.

A Chaotic Garden Exhibition for NGV Triennial in Melbourne.
Photo credit: NGV

Makoto’s breathtaking botanical sculptures captured the attention of Hermès, Dries Van Noten, Dior and more.

Azuma Makoto for Dior Tears Capsule.
Photo credit: Azuma Makoto

 
ICED FLOWERS for Dries Van Noten's, Paris 2016
Photo credit: Azuma Makoto

You’ll find other projects on his socials, previous or on-going, such as anatomical flower charts, a frozen pine tree exhibit in Hokkaido and more, all captured through stunning photography.
 
Botanical Sculpture: Frozen Pine 2024
Photo credit: Azuma Makoto

He also recently published a book titled ‘All About Flowers' which deep dives into each of his sculptures. Makoto’s unmatched artistry even graced the cover of British Vogue with Rihanna, and made show-stopping appearances on fashion runways.

Rihanna on the cover of British Vogue, floral headpiece by Azuma Makoto. 
Photo credit: Vogue

Although celebrations for 100 years of magic are drawing to an end, nostalgia lives within us forever. Our upcoming collaboration with Azuma Makoto and Disney, is Mickey Mouse by Azuma Makoto, which will be made available for pre-order on 25 May 2024, 9AM ET/9PM SGT.

Mickey Mouse by Azuma Makoto.

Striking his iconic pose as vibrant flowers bloom eternally within, this collectible encapsulates nostalgia while showcasing Makoto's incredible floristry touch within. The species of flowers chosen for this rare collectible are roses, frangipanis, sakuras and poppies all which align dearly to the cartoon icon Mickey.

Here’s what each flower signifies:

Rose represents passionate love and deep affection.

Frangipani represents resilience with its toughness.

Sakura symbolises renewal and hope.

Poppy signifies remembrance and peace.
 
These carefully curated flowers are enveloped within a Mickey-shaped clear shining ABS polymer, allowing all intricate details of the flowers to be captured magnificently. 

Mickey Mouse by Azuma Makoto launches 25 May, 9AM ET/9PM SGT
 
Make sure you don’t miss out on this exciting release by setting your reminders for 25 May 2024, 9AM ET/9PM SGT! Remember to subscribe to get firsthand news from us, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep on top of our latest releases!
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