Hana-Awase (Ikebana with Mozart)

3 PM - 4 PM, 8 September 2024

Salon, Abbotsford Convent

Two teams of 4 ikebana artists will present a Hana-Awase performance to live music. 

The teams synergize to craft a harmonious work of art, complemented by the mellifluous strains of Mozart's music, expertly rendered by the esteemed musicians of Orchestra 21. Orchestra 21 is regarded as the most exciting chamber orchestra in Melbourne.

Historically, Hana-Awase is a game that became popular among the aristocrats during the Heian period. Participants would choose a seasonal flower, compose a waka (Japanese poem) to accompany it, and then gather in two groups, competing to determine the elegance and excellence of their creations.


Two teams of ikebana artists will compete in this performance to live music by the musicians of the renowned Orchestra 21.

Our Hana-Awase is a mindfulness practice, letting us be “present” in the moment, aiming to bring the flowers to life. Each artist is focused on what is emerging in front of them. Without any previous planning, each team of four ikebana artists will make an ikebana work collectively, like a relay.


The first artist creates a basic framework in 9 minutes. Then, each artist adds their contribution to the existing work using one or two types of material within 9 minutes. 

Inspiration flows from one member to the next, with each member of the group building on the ideas of the previous artist. Immersing themselves in the flow of ikebana and music, each artist focuses on letting each flower live and allowing the whole work to emerge naturally and instinctively.

Finally, the works of the two teams are assessed by the audience in terms of how harmonious the ikebana arrangement connected with the music.