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#10 THE FLORAL ARTIST AZUMA MAKOTO

AZUMA MAKOTO

Fukuoka-born, self-styled ‘haute couture florist’ Azuma Makoto arrived in Tokyo intending to become a grunge musician, taking a part-time job as a trader at a flower market to supplement his income. Little by little his interest in flowers grew into an obsession. He opened his Jardins des Fleurs store in 2002 in Ginza, later moving to Minami-Aoyama, and also ran a floral gallery, AMPG, in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa, exhibiting his extraordinary private work. In 2009, he founded an experimental laboratory, AMKK (Azuma Makoto Botanical Research Institute), to ‘expand his art activities and pursue the infinite potential of plants’.

Makoto is not your average, vase-based gypsophila arranger – he’s worked with Dior, Helmut Lang, Hermès and even Lego. One large-scale work is called Green Dog House. Another is Botanical Ashtray. ‘I’m focused on elevating the value of flowers and plants by expressing their unique forms. I convert the beauty of nature into artwork.’

The simple act of being among flowers and plants provides endless inspiration for Makoto. ‘The life of flowers and plants is much more transient than ours,’ he reflects. ‘You need to be sensitive to their tiny changes, such as moments of blooming… and also withering. By keeping attuned to these, I’m able to capture their moments of beauty.’

As seen in Wallpaper*,
Photographer Jan Lehner

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#10 PORTFOLIO GALLERY

STEM SELLING

‘I convert the beauty of nature into artwork.’

AZUMA MAKOTO

TUDOR AESTHETICS

At Makoto’s Store, some of his tools with a sketch and photograph of one of his works.

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#10 INSPIRATION GALLERY

09:00

A NEW DAY

‘For me, there is no “typical day”. I like being in touch with plants all the time, to enrich their value. I face plants and flowers every day, and this doesn’t feel like work to me. The sun rises; I’m starting a new day and meeting a new life.

13:00

Creative stimulation

‘I take a walk every day near my office and atelier. When walking around, I take in subtle changes, seasonal transitions and the air of that day. I like to find new expressions for flowers and plants, to stimulate creativity, to pursue new possibilities.’

16:00

Orders

‘My concept is made to order, from zero. I take the order from the customer – theme, colouring – and then I go to get the flowers myself, make and, finally, present the work.’

19:00

Planting

Three hundred and sixty-five days a year, I live to pursue the expression of flowers and plants. I don’t take time off; I don’t really believe in the notion of personal time,’ states Makoto. ‘I believe that it is my mission to heighten the value of existence by “planting” flowers and plants into people’s minds.’

STYLE FILE

#10 TUDOR COMPOSITIONS

TUDOR CRAFT

Just like Makoto’s flower compositions, the ‘Tudor Heritage Advisor’ features a rich combination of aesthetic elements: the red of the alarm hand, the shiny steel colour of the index, and the two-tone dial in shades of velvety black. The silk strap is soft as a rose petal to the touch. ‘Tudor’s original branding featured a rose,’ says Makoto. ‘The stylistical representation of a rose on the crown (at 4 o’clock) is wonderful.’

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#11 THE LIGHT ARTIST KIT WEBSTER

#12 THE SHOE MAKER MASARU OKUYAMA

#01 THE TAILOR PATRICK GRANT

#02 THE ENGINEER CHARLES MORGAN

#03 THE DESIGNER NITZAN COHEN

#04 THE CHEF CHRISTOPHE DUFAU

#05 THE GLASS ARTIST J. M. WINTREBERT

#06 THE PERFUMER BEN GORHAM

#07 THE JEWELLER JORDAN ASKILL

#08 THE ARTIST MIKE PERRY

#09 THE MIXOLOGIST MATT WHILEY