Gaia’s Ikebana – Final

Top View
Front View
Back View


Shin is represented by the branch (dominant); reaching skywards.

Soe is represented by the blue paper strip (Sub-ordinate); man-made material. It brings the Shin and Tai together, literally men being between the heavens and the earth.

Tai is represented by the cone (sub-dominant); brown for the earth. Also the use of the ice cream cone relates to ice cream (because ice cream melt and I cannot use it for the ‘Ikebana’); is to refer to the cool weather during spring.

Also the park had an incredible playground that attracted a lot of children. So the use of ice cream and biscuits is for the juvenile impression.





Right View
Left View

The white cotton ball (sub-ordinate) has a soft appearance representing the Sakura flower buds during the Spring season. Because during my trip there the flowers were all barely opened and were mostly white and very few pink. 

The layered of pink and green piring wafer biscuit adds the colours of the park to the ‘Ikebana’. It also helps unify and bring harmony to the entire sculpture.

The overall arrangement was meant to emphasize on the line of the branch. Even if the elements are pointing in different directions, the blue strip helps direct your sight to the line of the branch by twirling around it.

Elements can be shifted more to the edge for viewing of all angles.


Gaia’s Ikebana – Research


ike, meaning ‘alive’ or ‘arrange’ and bana meaning ‘flower.’ (Fresh, FTD. 2017. )

A traditional arts from japan that is practiced for more than 600 years. It originated from the Buddhist ritual of offering flowers the spirits of the dead. By the middle of the fifteenth century, with the emergence of the first classical styles, ikebana achieved the status of an art form independent of its religious origins, though it continued to retain strong symbolic and philosophical overtones.” (“Ikebana International”. 2017)

As time passed, ikebana became a major part of traditional festivals, and ikebana exhibitions were held periodically. Rules were prescribed, and materials had to be combined in specific ways. In these early forms, a tall upright (indication of faith, to the heavens) central stem had to be accompanied by two shorter stems; the three stems represented heaven (shin), man (soe), and earth (tai). (“Ikebana International”. 2017)

Strives to create a harmony of linear construction, rhythm, and color. (“Flower Arranging | Godai Katsunaga”. 2017)

Minimalism, shape and line, form, humanity, aesthetics, and balance. (Fresh, FTD. 2017. )


Principles of Rikka arrangements

Example of Rikka arrangement

Rikka symbolized the mythical Mt.Meru of Buddhism and reflects the magnificence of nature in its display. (“Flower Arranging | Godai Katsunaga”. 2017)

  • mountain peak (ryō)
  • waterfall ()
  • hill (qaku)
  • valley behind the mountain (bi)
  • town (shi)
  • in (“shade”)
  •  (“sun”)

Moribana Style

I find that the dominant, sub-dominant and sub-ordinate is very obvious in this style.

Taken from Fresh, FTD. 2017.
Taken from Fresh, FTD. 2017.
Example of Moribana Upright Style
Example of Moribana Slanting Style Taken from

D – Branch

SD – flower stems and baby breath

SO – White Flowers

I like the Ikebana’s composition like the above ; with a branch hanging precariously to the side. It seems to defy gravity – standing with no support at all.The different direction in which they are pointing that creates a much more interesting arrangement. Also the curvy branch is in contrast to the stiffer and rigid flower stems to the left.



March – May | 5 – 20 degrees Celsius | Cherry blossom blooming

The mood board is made of images that I took from my Japan trip in Spring of 2016. (How lucky I was to picked the Spring season.)  The tones during spring are very cool. The earthy pastel shades reflecting the soft and mild weather.

Sketch of final sculpture
  • Branch is brown obviously… (shin)
  • Flat cylinder to be blue (soe); a reflection of the sky (water body, although the pond wasn’t blue at all…) and to match the colour scheme. Planning to make it out of man made material e.g. my leftover metal netting from Project Pandora or some leftover paper from FYP two years ago. Probably the blue paper because of the scene (Park) I am trying to set. Paper is man made but still natural – also related to trees.
  • Green cone to represent the grass and bushes. (tai) Thinking of using a fruit or something related to the earth. But if I use a fruit (green apple) it will probably become a sphere? Then the sculpture will become more like the sketch on the right.
  • Pink for the SOs as the flowers. I am thinking of using mint for the cool temperature and weather. But are there any pink mints???
  • (I did the upright style in the end; the slanting style is quite difficult and I wanted to have the shin soe tai represented distinctly)


“Flower Arranging | Godai Katsunaga”. 2017. Godaikatsunaga.Com.

Fresh, FTD. 2017. “The Art Of Ikebana Flower Arranging”. FTD.Com.

“Ikebana International”. 2017. Ikebanahq.Org.

Dominant, Sub-dominant & Sub-ordinate Part 2

Composition 1

Front and right
Left and back



I planned out the dimensions to avoid making similar volumes. The circumference of the sphere is around 1/3 of the base of the cone. The height of the cone is 1/3 < x< 1/2 to the diameter of the cylinder.

Sketch Analysis


Composition 2

Top, Left and right respectively


The diameter of the cylinder is 1/3 < x< 1/2 to the sphere. The diameter of the sphere is 1/3 < x< 1/2 to the cone and the heights are all also 1/3 < x< 1/2.

Although the proportions were approved, I can’t help feeling that the cylinder and cone are fighting for dominance. Perhaps I should lengthen the cylinder more.

Sketch analysis

Other sketches: