For the past year, photographs of the headmaster's Hanakanade arrangements have been published in magazines, and he also showed several arrangements at his first solo exhibition held earlier in the year in Tokyo. Looking at pictures and seeing arrangements has been informative, but learning from the headmaster, himself, is something that does not happen often. Needless to say, I was very excited for the opportunity.
The main point of Hanakanade is to showcase the limited vertical space above the container. Three principal stems rise up, crossing and forming interesting lines and shapes in the space above the container. The three points from which the stems soar into the air are then covered with a base of green material, and the lower space of the container is then utilized to add a grounding to the arrangement. The three principle stems have set rules, and all the other materials, where they are placed, how they are placed, the lengths of the stems, are all free. Because of the freedom of the arrangement, something interesting and unique can be created, but it also makes it difficult to use the space wisely, creating something that enhances, not detracts from, the principal stems in the area above the container.
After the Headmaster gave a short talk an the basics of the new style, I made a Hanakanade arrangement using the materials provided. He came around and checked each person's work giving feedback and advice on how to make a better arrangement. I was happy because the only thing he changed in my arrangement was the angle of one of the principle stems, and he also took out a few of the small flowers I had placed at the foot of one of the principle stems and added a tall leaf to give a little height to the base of the arrangement.
It was a very informative workshop, and I was thrilled that I could learn directly from the headmaster; but it is still a new style that I will have to practice many times to fully understand the beauty and delicate balance of the style.
|Hanakanade -- the three principal stems rising into the limited vertical space above the container.|
|I tried to take a picture from above, but my arms weren't quite long enough.|
Here you can see how the principal stems cross and fill the space.