The history of ikebana dates back to approximately 500 years ago with the development of Ikenobō (the oldest school of ikebana; Ikenobo meaning ‘next to the pond’). The school dates its beginnings to a priest of the Rokkakudō Temple (Purple Cloud Temple) in Kyoto.
The Temple was erected in 587 by Prince Shōtoku. It is said that the Prince was searching for materials to build the Shitenno-ji Temple. During his search, one day he went to bathe in a pond, where he hung a Buddhist amulet over a nearby tree. After his bath, he tried to remove the amulet, but he was unable to do so. That same night, the Prince saw the Buddha in his dream. The Buddha instructed him to erect a temple near the pond at the cedar tree under a purple cloud. From that cedar, Rokkakudō temple was built.
This exhibition was constructed backwards in the sense that the beautiful materiality of the artwork already existed as a non-art object, made by someone as an action of cleaning up waste material in an economical fashion.
By moving this material to the gallery context and then following the formal methodology of an art form like Ikebana, the work crystallises towards an increasingly mysterious outcome.
Friedrich’s art practice often uses informal research techniques (wikipedia/google) to develop counterfeit methodologies of creation.
Cedar, pine, glass, digital print on silk.