New York — Even in a world receptive to fusions and hybrids, a punk florist seems like a strange concept. But once you meet Japanese floral artist Azuma Makoto, the idea starts not to seem so very odd.
Makoto, 29, listens to Nirvana, Sonic Youth and the Red Hot Chili Peppers while working on his tradition-subverting botanical creations. On display until Friday at Issey Miyake’s TriBeCa boutique is his installation called “Shiki,” or “Formula,” in which he suspends evergreen trees — roots and all — cacti and banana plants in open iron frames. Also on display is a smaller work of Makoto’s, called “Damned Ikebana” — a series of water-filled glass vases placed on white pedestals with various natural matter, such as an enormous withered oak leaf, a white pinecone and a pomegranate.
The Japanese native opened his “floral boutique” in Tokyo’s tony Ginza neighborhood four years ago. Since then, he has designed windows for the Tokyo outposts of Hermès, Ferragamo and Bulgari. After his visit to New York, Makoto moves on to Paris, where he will create a Christmas-themed exhibition at Colette, to be on display Dec. 12-25.