The Japanese Mission to the United Nations has hosted a series of events with the theme “Peace Is…” using art and culture as a medium for connecting people with the UN and its objectives. The Permanent Mission of Japan has collaborated with Japanese artists residing in New York, who believe in the power of art to bridge divisions and bring people together.
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN, “Peace Is Beautiful” guided the activities of this fourth event, which included a demonstration of Ikebana, led by Master Noritaka Noda of the Ikenobo Society of Floral Art. More than flower arranging, Ikebana is an elevated art form in Japan, using plants to create new forms suggesting the forces of nature and the beauty of longing in our hearts. Working with two assistants, Master Noda began with the tall leaves, then the flowers (coxcomb and iris), then the smaller leaves and finally the ferns, selecting, trimming, placing and bending them…
into an arrangement representing mountains, cascades, a town, a river and the beautiful landscape. Afterwards, the ambassadors from ASEAN and the other guests were invited to make our own flower arrangements, assisted professional Ikenobo teachers.
I was lucky to have the guidance of the very patient and gracious Hitomi, who helped me create this piece.
Attendees were also treated to a lovely performance of traditional dances from Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia.
Congratulations to the Permanent Mission of Japan for this excellent initiative!