Known for his blooming decorations for fashion houses like Dries Van Noten and Boucheron, contemporary Tokyo-based artist Azuma Makoto creates large-scale flower installations—one of which he has just sent into space in collaboration with John Powell of JP Aerospace.
‘Plants on the earth rooted in the soil, under the command of gravity. Roots, soil and gravity – by giving up the links to life, what kind of ‘beauty’ shall be born? within the harsh ‘nature’, at an attitude of 30,000 meters and minus 50 degrees celsius, the plants evolve into exbiota (extraterrestrial life). A pine tree confronting the ridge line of the earth. A bouquet of flowers marching towards the sun hit by the intense wind. Freed from everything, the plants shall head to the space.’ – Azuma Makoto
Suspended on a cube-shaped carbon-fiber frame strapped to a ballon, Makoto sent a 50-year-old white pine bonsai tree from his private collection as well as an arrangement of orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and irises, among other plants into the stratosphere. Named ‘Exbiotanica,’ the project was launched from Black Rock desert in Nevada—the same place that plays host to the legendary Burning Man festival—and looked to send flowers away from earth and into the unknown.
The visual results were, literally, otherworldly.