Azuma Makoto in Making Australian Natives Looks Posh at NGV Triennial

A Chaotic Garden by Azuma Makoto at NGV Triennial 2024
During our recent visit at the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria), we couldn’t help but feel speechless as we stopped at the flower art installation by a Japanese floral artist Azuma Makoto.

Titled 'A Chaotic Garden', the 130-resin block floral sculptures are accompanied by an evocative film that bridges the conversation between the notion of beauty and decay. Makoto freezes floral arrangements in time, shapes others into bouquets with bonsai precision, and uses his skills and method that has seen him win the world over with his monolithic designs.

A Chaotic Garden by Azuma Makoto at NGV Triennial 2024

A Chaotic Garden by Azuma Makoto at NGV Triennial 2024

Drop time presents the lifecycle of flowers in hyper-speed, time-lapsed and shown in both forward motion and reverse. Set against a discordant soundscape, the video exposes us again and again to the mesmerizing metamorphosis of flowers from bloom to wilt, celebrating each stage of the plants’ genesis and eventual decay. A mark of both celebration and sorrow, flowers have historically been used to acknowledge life, death and the passing of time; Drop time invites a moment to reflect on their significance in both culture and environment.

A Chaotic Garden by Azuma Makoto at NGV Triennial 2024

Defying the biological lifecycle of flowers and plants, the 130 resin-cast flowers in A Chaotic Garden reflect the existential urge to conserve beauty and resist decay. Held in an ambiguous state somewhere between life and death, Makoto’s Block flowers suspend biological specimens in time. Pausing the lifecycle of the flowers at the peak of their visual splendor, Block flowers allows us to appreciate the beauty of each species and contemplate the competing values of immortality and temporality.

A Chaotic Garden has been two years in the making and required Makoto to ship more than 50 per cent of the florals he intended on working with from Australia, choosing a vibrant selection of our native flora, and the rest, he sourced locally.

Azuma Makoto at Chadstone
Image: Azuma Makoto at Chadstone 

While his Australian work will be on display at the NGV Triennial, we’ll also get to marvel at some of his creations at shopping mecca Chadstone, The Fashion Capital this January. Connecting his love of fashion and culture and understanding of climate change — Makoto will give away the flowers at the end of the installation as a gesture of goodwill. He’ll also be creating floral pieces for window and in-store displays at the Herm├Ęs stores in Japan.

A Chaotic Garden by Azuma Makoto at NGV Triennial 2024

A Chaotic Garden by Azuma Makoto at NGV Triennial 2024

Personally, I’ve become a huge fan of Australian native plants and floras, and if you’ve been around Australia this natural beauty is something that you shouldn’t take for granted. Each season comes with unique blooms that burst colors splattered everywhere and they look like some impressionist painting when you look on the horizon.

Through this floral art installation, Makoto not only tells the story of rebirth, natural beauty, and the process of decay, but also gives inspiration for many gallery goers, including the opportunities to get to know each floras and start a conversation that reminds us about these blooms. 

As I love being surrounded by plants and own a selection of indoor plants at home, this exhibition is encouraging me to consider learning the art of resin casting, and the other possibilities that I could make.

For those of you who have a luxury of space at home, get this inspiration by recreating Makoto’s version to decorate your entertainment living space, which I reckon a perfect location. 

@blair.villanueva A Chaotic Garden by Japanese floral artist Azuma Makoto. This art installation is part of this season's NGV Triennial. Visit NGV Melbourne and available for display until 7 April 2024. FREE ENTRY. #ngvtriennial#gallery#australia#artanddesign#arttok#designtok#flowertok#foryourpage#melbourne♬ Downton Abbey - Voidoid

A Chaotic Garden is currently on display at NGV International until 7 April 2024 as part of this season’s NGV Triennial. Free Entry. 

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