Japanese artist Makoto Azuma lets his imagination soar in the most uplifting way. Last week the acclaimed Japanese botanical sculptor took off from his high-end Ginza flower shop and headed for the Nevada desert to send flowers up into the stratosphere.
Why? ”I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” he said. It's as good a reason as any for his project, called Exobotanica. See more info in a New York Times story.
A 50-year-old white pine bonsai tree from his own collection was first to head for the heavens under a helium balloon supplied by JP Aerospace, a volunteer outfit that describes itself as 'America's Other Space Program'.
Next up was a bouquet of bright blooms from all around the world chosen specially to stand out against the blackness of space at high altitude. Naturally there were cameras aplenty to record both beautiful ascents.
After the balloons burst (at around 90,000 feet) the devices that held the plants parachuted back to Earth and were retrieved, but not the plants… they were lost up there or presumably fluttered back down in fragments.
You might say, what's the point? Aren't there better things to do in the world? Well, in a time when the world is awash with horrific images, I think pictures like this do us a great service. To see such beauty - the ground beneath and its fruits flying above - does the heart good.