A: Wa in Japanese means harmony. Wa has been a central value in Japanese culture and society for centuries. Consequently it has multiple meanings according to the contexts. Wa depicts a dynamic rather than a static state. From Wa, something new is created.
A: There are many definitions of Ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement. Arguably the most significant one was presented by Senno Ikenobo around 1542. He defined Ikebana as a symbolic representation of the universe. His insight was so profound and spiritual that it raised Ikebana above the level of just a decorative art. His view on nature has a lot in common with the view of nature in the Japanese spiritual tradition. Ikebana seeks a balance between human beings and nature. For many people, Ikebana is a form of spiritual training leading towards enlightenment.
A: Our mission is to promote Ikebana, meditative art form working harmoniously with nature to the wider community that eagerly awaits such healing. Please see the revised statements.
A: In 2015 three experienced Japanese Ikebana teachers, Yukako Brown (Ikenobo Melbourne Chapter), Naomi Cullen (Ichiyo School of Ikebana Melbourne Branch) and Shoso Shimbo (Sogetsu School) formed Wa to revitalise Ikebana in Melbourne and organised the first joint exhibition at Abbotsford Convent. Since then, Wa has presented an exhibition every year with a growing number of exhibitors and public interest.
In 2019 Wa will further expand, aiming to be the most welcoming Ikebana event. Wa has become Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival, inviting more exhibitors and visitors locally and internationally.
In addition to an Exhibition, Wa: Melbourne Ikebana Festival incorporates various Ikebana related events and activities such as Ikebana workshops, Ikebana demonstrations, Ikebana market and Ikebana performances.
A: The Ikenobo, Ichiyo and Sogetsu schools have different approaches to flowers. In particular, Ikenobo and Sogetsu have almost the opposite approach. While Ikenobo respects the original forms of the flower in nature, the priority for Sogetsu is the creativity of individual practitioners.
Another great features of this exhibition is that it provides an opportunity even for beginners to take part in an exhibition. It is very rare particularly in Australia for Ikebana students to be able to exhibit their work in public.
This exhibition is therefore harmony of different approaches to Ikebana and many exhibitors with different stages of development.
A: Please find an Ikebana teacher near you. Visit our page, Ikebana teachers at Wa.
Some schools may offer short trial courses or workshops. But normally learning Ikebana takes a few years. It is often a lifetime commitment. If you would like to live with flowers to enhance your quality of life everyday for the rest of your life, Ikebana is for you.
A: All of our events are very popular. Many of them were booked out every year. Please book early. If you could not obtain a ticket online, however, don't give up.
1. You can join a waiting list for the following events:
Ikebana Dinner Show
Ikebana for Kids
2. You may watch Ikebana Demonstration standing (no seat available on the day) for free of charge. Please follow advice from our floor managing staff. Your safety is our first priority.
If it is too crowded, however, please come back to Rosina after the demonstration to enjoy our exhibition & the works created by our demonstrators. Abbotsford Convent has several art galleries, beautiful garden, and nice cafes.
3. You may watch Renka with Mozart standing (no seat available on the day) with gold coin donation. You can stand and watch only in certain areas of the auditorium. Please follow advice from our floor managing staff. Your safety is our first priority.
A: Yes. As an exhibitor you are invited to artists talks and opening. But we have to ask you to buy tickets to join other events. We would like to hire the top art venue for our exhibition and to invite international speakers such as the Headmaster of Ohara School to our conference. While our expenses are large, we would like to maintain a low fee for our exhibitors. Consequently we have to organise paid events to raise funds and to enhance our festival. Your participation in ticketed events supports our small-budget international ikebana event. We hope you understand.
A: We may invite local reputable ikebana teachers whose contact is published online. The goal of Wa is to promote ikebana as meditative traditional Japanese art as well as contemporary art that can contribute to enhance the environmental awareness. You may have enough students and opportunities to exhibit your works. You may not feel need to promote ikebana further, but how about your students? When you give a teaching diploma to them, will they have the same opportunity as you enjoy? There may be many things that you can do for your students. But trying to promote ikebana through Wa with other experienced teachers may be something you may consider for the future of ikebana. Wa can never be successful with a small number of supporters, although it has been already recognised as a significant event in the history of ikebana by some Japanese ikebana scholars (e.g. Wikipedia Japan). Your name may be recorded in the history of ikebana as a contributor to this international festival.
Our demonstration is one of our ticketed events. Unlike many other ikebana demonstrations, demonstrators will be paid and the audience are keen to learn ikebana and interested in joining ikebana course. You may mention your contribution as a demonstrator in your artist cv.
A: Volunteers play crucial roles in Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival. Generally each volunteer would be asked to work for 4 hours or more for managing the festival before or during the festival. If you can help us as a volunteer, please contact us to register (firstname.lastname@example.org). Festival volunteers will be invited to join demonstration, conference and some other events for free.