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Sofu Teshigahara at Nonaka-Hill


On view: February 8–March 28, 2020

A beautifully calming space has been erected at Nonaka-Hill in Hollywood. As if to create an outdoor space inside the gallery, the walls are painted in a deeply-hued blue, and gravel rocks are installed. The exhibition celebrates the work of Sofu Teshigahara, an influential teacher and leader in the avant-garde ikebana movement in Japan, who founded the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Since much of the artist’s works were plant-based and ephemeral, this exhibition highlights a series of sculptures made of metal sheets formed around wooden bases. The sculptures are playful and minimal, with the right amount of irreverence. Bodily forms abruptly sprout out of otherwise organic and abstract structures. These sculptures are flanked in the gallery by the ikebana work of Kaz Yokou Kitajima, a former student of Teshigahara. Kitajima’s ikebana is spry and playful, forming bold lines of fronds that are met with little colorful floral puffs. As a whole, the exhibition is a tender homage to an influential teacher, while acting as an enticing space that forces the viewer to slow down.