Collection 05 — Editor's Letter: AMKK's Social Commentary Through Flowers

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Beautifully intricate flower arrangements and the frantic nature of grunge music.

That’s what Japanese art collective AMKK embodies. A connection between two disparate worlds uniquely positioned in the realm of creativity.

We shadowed them over two full two days as part of our Collection 05. AMKK consists of Makoto Azuma and Shunsuke Shinoki, whose initial love for grunge music stretches back to their high school years in Fukuoka, Japan. But their increasing global recognition actually comes in the form of the floral art they create out of their studio in Tokyo. This includes meticulously designed flower beds, traditional Japanese Ikebana arrangements, bottled foliage, botanical sculptures, and enormous installations. Together, the natural beauty of Makoto’s arrangement work is captured, and preserved through Shiinoki’s stark photos that have been published in print. But beyond just music and flowers, we explore how this dynamic duo’s choice of work changes our views of beauty and masculinity.

Also in this Collection, we delve into the world of plateware makers Jono Pandolfi and Martin Kastner, who provide vessels for some of America’s best restaurants. You’ve eaten off their plates if you’ve ever had the chance to dine at Eleven Madison or Alinea. They’re just as much a part of the experience as the food itself.

To round things out, we explore the idea of preparation and planning as an action photographer, meeting with Bo Bridges in Manhattan Beach. He shot everything from Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, to the world’s first ever backflip in freestyle motocross.

Finally, just last month we put together an extremely successful MAEKAN Session that focused on the burgeoning creative hub that is Atlanta. It was fascinating to hear all the challenges faced by our panel which included start-up founder Amanda Sabreah, hip-hop producer Childish Major, and creative directors Diwang Valdez and Trevon Williams. The session was hosted by both Gavin Guidry and Michael Kusumadjaja, two Atlanta-based creatives in their own right.

We’re always looking to dig deeper in crafting meaningful stories. At times it can only happen with access and trust. For that, we’re extremely grateful, and we look forward to maintaining this level of insight and consistency in future collections to come.

Until next month,

Eugene Kan Signature

Eugene Kan
Editor-in-Chief

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