‘Flora City’ is a collection of imaginary cityscapes where flowers overtake cities and claim their space in the frame next to iconic buildings. The locations are Singapore and Tokyo connected by their national flowers that intricately capture the sense of these places.
Symbols play an important role in our lives because they facilitate communication and identification of ideas. Orchids represent sophistication and beauty but if we dig deeper we also find that they were the last flowering plants to appear on earth with the ability to thrive on rocks and other plants where others could not. Singapore’s Vanda Miss Joaquim goes one step further and as a special hybrid it represents the city nation’s rich cultural heritage and international melting pot status as well.
Cherry blossom represents rebirth but also carries the symbolic meaning of the impermanence of life. As the tiny flowers bloom each year only for a short period of time we are reminded of the fleeting nature of beauty and life’s uncertainties. This melancholic appreciation is deep rooted in the Japanese culture. ‘Mono no aware’ is a local idiom for awareness of impermanence translated to ‘the pathos of things’ or ‘the empathy towards things’. This awareness is not sad or joyful but neutral and the same what Buddhism encourages: emphasis of the nature of things as they are and not how we perceive them to be.