Friendship through show of flower power

Guest demonstrator, Dr Leonard Lim, demonstrating the
an arrangement in the Ikenobo school of Ikebana
The Johor Baru chapter of Ikebana International (IIJB) held their 24th Annual Exhibition and Demonstration event at the lobby of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel Johor Baru recently.  The exhibition, presented in the theme, Flower Power, was also an opportunity to celebrate the birthday of Charter President YAM Tunku Shahariah bte Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

Ikebana or the art of Japanese flower arrangement, follows a fixed pattern of a triangle with three points that represent Heaven, Earth and Man, where the key consideration is to use as few plant materials as possible to compose an elegant arrangement.   

An arrangement in the Ohara school of Ikebana
by Chris Parry
There are several schools of ikebana like Ikenobo, Ohara, Sogetsu, Ryuseiha and Ichiyo where each school follows a particular set of rules and arrangement techniques.  The emphasis is on linear perfection, colour, harmony, space and form, and the choice of plant materials is guided by the artist’s desire to create harmony between the materials and the vessels used.

The event programme included a demonstration by guest demonstrator, Dr Leonard Lim, who demonstrated seven table arrangements in the Ikenobo school of ikebana with both traditional and modern freestyle Ikenobo arrangements.  Dr Lim, a dental surgeon by profession, is a practitioner of the Ikenobo school of ikebana who has undergone formal education in the art of Ikenobo at the Ikenobo headquarters in Kyoto, Japan.  He is also the founding president of the Singapore chapter of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society and remains its president to date.

An arrangement in the Sogetsu
school of Ikebana by Dawn Ling
Dr Lim shares his skills and knowledge in the Ikenobo school of ikebana through workshops and demonstrations, and has exhibited in Singapore as well as in counties like Thailand, Philippines, China, Macau, Japan, South Africa, India and Malaysia.  In 2004, he wrote a coffee table book, Experiencing Ikebana, to introduce freestyle Ikenobo to flower enthusiasts.  The book was revised in 2009 and presented with a new look entitled, Essential Ikebana.

“The event is truly a gathering in friendship through flowers,” said IIJB President, Datin Lynda Loh.  “The exhibition, which is open to the public, promotes the art of ikebana to everyone and is an invaluable opportunity for networking among members of various chapters in Ikebana International as they share their experience and ideas in flower arrangements,” she added.

Visitors to the exhibition learnt more about this art of flower arrangement and appreciated the creative presentations of more than 35 exhibits in the theme, Flower Power.  The 28 exhibitors who presented arrangements in the various schools of Ikebana included members from Ikebana International Singapore.  

Members of IIJB took the opportunity to celebrate the birthday
of  Charter President, Tunku Shahariah [4th from Right]
Also present at the event were Singapore Consul-General in JB, Ian Mak, the wife of Indonesian Consul in JB, Ibu Hanisa, and other invited guests.  The event ended with luncheon hosted for about 100 guests where the birthday of YAM Tunku Shahariah was also celebrated.

Membership in Ikebana International Johor Baru is open to all who are interested in the Japanese art of flower arrangement.  For more info, visit and Facebook page: for membership enquiries and more info about IIJB activities.

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 22 April 2015

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