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On Tuesday, a bonsai tree boldly went where no bonsai tree has gone before.
Azuma Makoto, a 38-year-old artist based in Tokyo, launched two botanical arrangements into orbit: “Shiki 1,” a Japanese white pine bonsai tree suspended from a metal frame, and an untitled arrangement of orchids, lilies, hydrangeas, and irises.
"I’m writing a play about the nature of truth, and how difficult it is to convey the truth when everybody is speaking a different language. For example, the word ‘terrorist’ and the word ‘freedom fighter’ are used to refer to the exact same people at the exact same time. With everyone speaking differently, truth is almost impossible to agree upon. Yet believing in the existence of truth is the only thing that keeps us from devolving into tribal warfare. Because without the existence of truth, the person who is most powerful becomes the person who is right."
Children’s Illustrators: Kay NielsenBorn in Denmark in 1886, Nielsen was inspired by Art Nouveau and Eastern influences in his illustrations, and adopted many practices of Japanese woodcuts, such as asymmetrical composition, large vacant areas, sinuous linework, and flattened perspective.
The plum blossom, which is known as the meihua (梅花), is one of the most beloved flowers in China and has been frequently depicted in Chinese art and poetry for centuries. The blossoms are so beloved by the Chinese because they are viewed as blooming most vibrantly in the winter snow, exuding an ethereal elegance, while their fragrance is noticed to still subtly pervade the air at even the coldest times of the year. Therefore the plum blossom came to symbolize perseverance and hope, but also beauty, purity, and the transitoriness of life. In Confucianism, the plum blossom stands for the principles and values of virtue. More recently, it has also been used as a metaphor to symbolize revolutionary struggle since the turn of the 20th century. Chinese term ”傲雪寒梅” (literally “Plum stands proudly in the chill snow”) to describe a person who’s not afraid of failure or bad environment. Also “梅花香自苦寒来” ( Plum blossoms have fragrance because they have tasted the bitterness of cold winter).
Because it blossoms in the cold winter, the plum blossom is regarded as one of the “Three Friends of Winter” 岁寒三友, along with pine, and bamboo. It is also regarded as one of the “Four Gentlemen” 四君子 of flowers in Chinese art together with the orchid, chrysanthemum, and bamboo. It is one of the “Flowers of the Four Seasons” 四季花, which consist of the orchid (spring), the lotus (summer), the chrysanthemum (autumn) and the plum blossom (winter). These groupings are seen repeatedly in the Chinese aesthetic of art, painting, literature, and garden design.