Makoto Azuma and Shunsuke Shiinoki: Encyclopedia of Flowers II
Flower artist Makoto Azuma and botanical photographer Shunsuke Shiinoki present a second edition of their vibrant anthology, two years after the first. Focusing on the ephemeral nature of flowers while working to conserve in a concrete, tangible form the passage of time they embody, the authors use two techniques.
In the mere three years or so since the first Encyclopedia of Flowers was published, many of the varieties included have disappeared from the market, to be replaced by countless new others. For this second volume, perspectives were limited to overhead and lateral shots done in natural light, the better to showcase the flowers’ vibrant presence. The result is a book of both abundant beauty and documentary significance—a collection of still lifes portraying not only the blooms themselves, but also the industry that offers them up for human consumption. An index identifies all plants by their common and scientific names.
Makoto Azuma and Shunsuke Shiinoki, both born in 1976 in Fukuoka, opened the Jardins des Fleurs custom florist studio in the Ginza district of Tokyo in 2002, later moving it to Minami-Aoyama. From around 2005 they also started working together on projects in which Shiinoki photographs “botanical sculptures” created by Azuma. Azuma’s daringly experimental floral works have been shown in many places outside of Japan, starting with a solo exhibition in New York; he established the Azuma Makoto Kaju Kenkyujo (AMKK) botanical lab in 2009 and has recently been focusing on exploring the connections between human beings and flowers.
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