Azuma Makoto is a Japanese artist who began his artistic practice in the floral industry. This beginning inspired his interest in the natural world— how it blooms, thrives, and then decays.
He captures these natural stages of life by suspending elements of nature in different structures and mediums from resin, ice or even the Earth’s stratosphere.
In his series “Exobiotanica,” Makoto partnered with an aerospace company to launch a bonsai tree and bouquet into the stratosphere to capture the extreme and absurd composition of nature existing in space resulting in breathtaking photographs and videos.
He splices bonsai trees and bouquets into new environments encased and suspended in their metal boxes or other sculptural forms, amplifying the separation between naturally occurring and artistic composition.
He enjoys pushing his practice outside of the proverbial studio to collaborate with different artists, designers, scientists and businesses to explore the natural world through new platforms and perspectives. He has designed elements of runway shows and inspired fashion designers alike.
His floral sculptures capture an element of scientific discovery, illustration and awe; as if these specimens were discovered incased in amber rather than manufactured in resin or ice.
He works outside the parameters and norms of what is natural order, method, and process to create uncanny compositions and performances. His artistic practice has beautifully displayed nature in its stages of life occurring in unnatural environments from underwater to the streets of New York City.
Makoto seeks to capture nature’s beautiful and sublime qualities within the same frame. He brings these bright blooms into the manufactured world outside of regular bouquets in vases, carefully arranging these inspired unions with precision and grace. All of which he executes masterfully and with an awe inspiring flourish.