Damned Ikebana —

AMKK Transforms MAEKAN into Floral Art


At the end of our visit to Tokyo-based floral art collective AMKK, head botanist Makoto Azuma graciously created three pieces exclusively for MAEKAN. Incorporating MAEKAN’s signature blue and “unexpected connections” as his theme, Makoto created a piece titled “Damned Ikebana,” a unique take on the traditional Japanese flower arrangement art.⁣

Makoto chose iris as the centerpiece for our “Damned Ikebana.”

“There’s more to Ikebana than flower arrangements. It’s an act of expressing and appreciating life’s beauty.”

Makoto and Shunsuke selected seasonal flowers for our Ikebana.

In addition to iris, Makoto selected clematis and muscari based on MAEKAN’s custom brand colors.

Shunsuke and Makoto thumb through a Pantone reference book.

“It engages an inner dialogue that allows someone to reflect on their feelings, making the most of what nature has given to them.”

Makoto and Shunsuke meticulously fine-tune their experimental Ikebana arrangements.

“Makoto didn’t go to an Ikebana school or anything. This is just his interpretation on the whole thing. ”

“Think of it as painting with flowers, every part of them, blooms, leaves and stems, and using them to create lines and contrast. ”

David Kenji Chang talks with the founder in his LA studio and new shop to talk about his life’s work and staying weird in a weird world.