Gallery: Underwater Bonsai Brings New Calm to a Thousand Year Old Tradi...

Botanical artist Makoto Azuma’s latest piece transposes the traditional art of Japanese bonsai into an underwater environment. Made from dead wood, natural moss and LED lights, the “tree” comes to life in the unusual terrarium. The underwater plant is the latest of Azuma’s alternative bonsai, which include one made from LEGOs and a tree appears suspended in an empty glass cube.

Inspired by the historic tradition of bonsais in Japanese culture, Azuma is constantly on the quest to explore new ways of viewing the customary plant. Submerging the bonsai figure in water gives it a new kind of serenity. With the gentle flow of the water, the greenery takes on an ethereal feel as it slowly waves back and forth with the bubbling current within the aquarium.

Azuma used a coiled piece of dead wood for the bonsai’s trunk and coated its ends with java moss to appear as if bright green leaves were sprouting from the wood. In order to nourish the live moss, LED lights were installed along with CO2, which together helped support photosynthesis. The same filtration system that causes the moss to hypnotically wave also keeps the tank clean of bacteria, allowing the moss to thrive.

Like Azuma’s suspended bonsai, the submerged tree seems to float in space, shirking the need of a root system. With the underwater flow, the bonsai brings a new calm to the thousand year old tradition.

+ Makoto Azuma

Via Spoon Tamago


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