Learning from Nature –– Literati Flower Arrangement Exhibition
Date: 7 - 31 December 2016
Venue: Jao Tsung-I Academy
Organizer: Cultural Affairs Bureau
Co-organizer: Pui Wa Floral Design School
About the Exhibition
With a history of more than three thousand years, traditional Chinese floral arrangement is regarded as the origin of oriental art of flower arrangement with profound influence. In order to promulgate this essence of Chinese culture, the Cultural Affairs Bureau and Pui Wa Floral Design School jointly organize this exhibition to display the traditional floral art in literati style. Against Professor Jao Tsung-i's calligraphies and paintings exhibited in the same venue, the floral works in the exhibition thoroughly present the unique beauty of this art form.
Flower Arrangement: Four Arts of Life
Traditional Chinese flower arrangement has four major styles, respectively serving the purposes of literati's pastime, emperor rituals, worship in temple and recreation in people's everyday lives. Literati flower arrangement originates from the Northern and Southern dynasties and bloomed in the Tang and Song dynasties. Developing rapidly in the Song eras, flower arrangement, together with incense burning, tea drinking and painting appreciation, are known as the "four arts of life in the Song Dynasty". Literati used to express their emotions and cultivate their soul by painting, reading poetry and arranging flowers in leisure time, making literati flower arrangement so popular at the time.
Literati and Flower Arrangement
Literati refer to Chinese intellectuals, particularly the well-educated writers and poets with proper artistic sense. Literati flower arrangement stresses expressing individual's moralities and sense of culture in an artistic manner. According to the art theory raised by Zhang Zao, painter in the Tang Dynasty, nature is the source to create the outer form of an art piece, while the creator's emotions deep in heart fill in the soul of it. Likewise, literati flower arrangement aims to create a higher level of art where humans and nature become one.
Features of Literati Flower Arrangement
1. Inspired by Chinese literature, calligraphies and paintings, it features rich poetic flavour.
2. It emphasizes the selection of flowers and the elegant and unusual linear character of the work.
3. Quality of the flower components outweighs quantity, and their appearance always matters the most.
4. Flower components of quiet colours are preferred. Showy blossoms should be small in size when used.
5. Vase is mainly used as container, followed by the use of plate.
6. Plain containers in gentle and delicate colours are preferred.
7. Background decorations of simple design are preferred. Zither, chessboard, calligraphy, painting, incense burner and tea set are among the best choices.