Show article from Denver Post
THEME for the 2019 Sogetsu Colorado Annual Show March 22-24, 2019
In the past we have not really had a theme for our annual March Show. This year the Sogetsu Colorado board, in consultation with the teaching teachers, has voted to have a theme as an experiment for 2019. After the show, we will decide whether or not to continue the practice. An ideal theme is broad enough to give the arrangers a great deal of flexibility, but not so vague that the viewer has no idea how a given arrangement relates to said theme.
The theme for the 2019 show will be the Five Elements of Japanese Philosophy or “Godai”. The five elements are, in ascending order of power; Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Void (Space).
Earth: Chi or tsuchi (地) represents the hard, solid objects of the world. The basic example of chi is a stone. Wood and metal are also examples.
Water: Sui or mizu (水 ) represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world. Rivers, lakes and other bodies of water are primary examples.
Fire: Ka or hi ( 火) represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world. Besides the obvious examples of heat and flame, lightening can also be thought of as an extension of Ka.
Air: Fu or kaze (風) represents the things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement. Examples are wind, smoke, and fog.
Space or Void: Ku or sora (空 ) most often translates as “void” or “space” but can also mean “sky’ or “heaven”. It represents things beyond our everyday experience.
We will devote two of our 2018 workshops–May 26th and November 2nd– to arrangements that express these themes. The idea is to use the three Sogetsu elements –line, color, and mass – combined with the four principles –freshness, movement, balance, and harmony – to create arrangements that convey the meaning of one of the five elements; Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space.
The elements vary in the level of abstractness needed to convey their meaning. Obviously, earth and water, can be represented in an arrangement that combines concrete examples of the concept with plant materials. Two of the Sogetsu textbook lessons are relevant to the element “water” –Book 4, Lesson 12: “Focusing on the uses of Water” and Book 5, Lesson 13: “Glass Containers”. More novice arrangers may find those two elements better suited to their skill level. More advanced arrangers may also find that these elements spark a creative idea that they wish to pursue such as an abstract representation of “water” using plant and/or unconventional materials. Fire, wind, and Space may need a more abstract representation as you obviously can’t incorporate examples of these elements directly into your arrangement.
Air and Fire will be the topics of the next Sogetsu Colorado workshop on May 26th. An announcement of the workshop will be sent out within the next week or so.
The definitions below are condensed from the Wikipedia definitions of the Five Elements < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_elements_(Japanese_philosophy)>