Makoto Azuma is passionate about the world of plants and especially flowers, which he uses to create spectacular installations. His inventive arrangements enable viewers to explore and reflect on the infinite diversity of botanical shapes and colours.
He created a one-of-a-kind herbarium, which is displayed in a specially created library at Chaumont-sur-Loire, featuring real flowers coated with a transparent resin to give them eternal life, and to reveal all their aesthetic, visual and colourful dimensions.
He also presents a fascinating sculpture featuring a white pine.
In the 17th century, Dutch artists celebrated the futility of life by painting “Vanitas”. Makoto Azuma has been driven by the same desire to create a series of contemporary herbaria entitled Block Flowers.
He chooses his plants in an intuitive, subtle and sensual manner, whether at the flower market or in the deepest depths of the Japanese mountains. The plants, chosen at the height of their magnificence, are freeze-dried before being encapsulated in blocks of acrylic resin. The Japanese White Pine, or goyomatsu (literally the “five-needle pine”) is very commonly used in Japan for bonsai.
Makoto Azuma’s artistic intention is both to compare and combine the natural beauty of plants with the artificial beauty of an acrylic cube in order to arouse a new emotion.
He thus succeeds in defying the inevitable, preserving the ephemeral and freezing the beauty of a flower or a pine tree for ever, like an eternal love. Each herbarium becomes a sort of miniature aesthetic time capsule, “that can travel through time, as long as it is not exposed to direct sunlight.”