Indo-Japan relations blossom with Ikebana 'Cycle of Life'

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New Delhi, Mar 29 (UNI) Every age has its own beauty. Nothing is useless. A tree that is hundreds of years old is equally beautiful as a bud that is about to blossom, Salma Ansari, wife of Honourable Vice President Hamid Ansari, said today.

Delhi Ikebana International, a chartered chapter of Ikebana International, had organised its annual flower exhibition that was inaugurated by Ms Ansari. The guests of honour included Japanese Ambassador Hideaki Domichi and his wife Noriko Domichi.

Ikebana International was formed in 1956 and is dedicated to the promotion of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other countries. Speaking on the Indo-Japan friendship, Ms Ansari said, ''We love flowers and Japan has helped us to use them to understand life. This clearly shows how the relations between both the countries are blossoming.'' The theme of the exhibition -- Cycle of Life -- represented the lunar evolution from birth to death, followed by rebirth just as spring follows winter and the rejuvenation of life goes on. Ikebana brought out the eternal truth depicting the seven stages of man's life, from infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, old age, and death.

''The theme is amazing and full of beauty, warmth, compassion and wisdom. The inner beauty of life has been beautifully exhibited in the flower arrangements,'' Ms Ansari told UNI as she took a look through the exhibition.

Kiran Jain, an artist, who exhibited the flowers and leaves arranged on a mushroom shaped pot, said, ''It comes to you, you come to it. The feel, happiness you get while you are among flowers is same as meditation. The glory that comes to you while making the arrangement is incomparable. My arrangement is a fusion having all parts of the cycle of life.'' Being a Japanese art perfected through centuries of tradition, it requires a different way of thinking about flowers and their arrangement. ''Nature gives you what you want and opt for. Once you get in sync with it, life gets much simpler and beautiful,'' Ritu Gupta, another artist and a housewife by profession, told UNI.

Replying to a question on how could Ikebana add more significance to life of people, she said, ''I feel more people should join such kind of an effort bringing harmony among all and then there would be no violence, no hatred an the world and its people.'' ''Something can be brought out in hospitals where people are suffering and dying. It will bring them a new hope and new light will come to their minds,'' she added.

Modern Ikebana, which began hundred of years ago, allows more spontaneity than traditional one, bringing out the individuality of the arranger. Even in a simple composition, an Ikebana arranger can suggest in a few lines not only the whole universe, but can also create a sense of space, seasons, rythm, emotion and other equally diverse concepts.

''It is more than imagination. The arrangements are full of expressions, showing how everything on earth, either good or bad, living or dead, is a part of life. Each and every arrangement is unique and out of comparison,'' Ms Ansari said.

Unlike western style arrangement, Ikebana does not require large quantity of flowers and use of branches, leaves and dried materials is as important. The emphasis is on creating beautiful, symmetrical lines and harmony of colour, combining them with a container appropriate to the material and style of arrangement.

''The most important thing is the colour combination as that adds to the beauty and thus, the meaning shown through the arrangement,'' Kiran Misra, who showed the whole cycle starting from roots and moses, then buds, then flowers till the dead wood, said.

In order to fill the space and add to the meaning of the theme, captions were also given to most of the arrangements. For instance, Uma Tiwari's art, which had the arrangement on fish-like pots, gave the message -- Man's heart close to nature becomes soft. All the captions were given by Mandira, who is an artist and also Human Resource Manager with HP. She said, ''There has to be a balance in life that I try to maintain between my hobby and my livelihood.'' Praising the artists, Ms Ansari said, ''I'm also fond of flowers but I don't possess such skills like them to exhibit it so beautifully. This is expression of inner feeling of love that you can relate to so many things in nature.'' UNI GL NK DS1530

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