Nicola Kloosterman Reimagines Traditional Ikebana

Ikebana, the delicate and ancient Japanese art of folding and placing cut stems, leaves and flowers in vases, finds new form in the collage work of Dutch artist Nicola Kloosterman.

Kloosterman slices apart vintage photographs of ikebana arrangements, removes their center and grants them a different kind of balance through her elegant reassemblage. Traditionally the practice of such flower arrangement in Japan was tied to religion; a soulful activity for the maker that was then placed on outdoor altars as offering and decoration for the gods. Though the styles of ikebana today number in the thousands, aesthetic simplicity and balance of form remain the key tenets of arrangement. Kloosterman’s work draws upon this tradition; inverting the art through her rigid adherence to it. In each collage she has removed the center of the arrangement; granting a balance of form by removing the form. Part of a larger project entitled ‘Shadowplay’, of the ikebana images Kloosterman explains that “The series quickly grew to include specially sourced images lending themselves to have their most catching features discarded, leaving only a shadow of the original image.” These shadows offer intrigue, what lies beyond the cut? “In this way, a new image is created that stands its own ground,” Kloosterman explains, “and yet it’s cut lines indicate that a core piece has been lost.”

“In this way, a new image is created that stands its own ground, and yet it’s cut lines indicate that a core piece has been lost.”
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All images © Nicola Kloosterman

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