Nature inspires art, but sometimes, in skilled hands, nature can be modeled into art. Meet Takanoki Aiba, bonsai master and creator of beauty from living materials. He believes that inspiration and art can be found everywhere and re-created in other forms of art.
The first thing you notice about Takanoki Aiba’s artwork is the painstaking attention to details. A whole world is shrunken into a small sculptured installation, where each object is miniaturized with great care. Proportions are always kept correctly and nothing seems out of place or outsized.
From the Hawaiian hut to the Michelin man, Aiba’s tiny designs are believable, relatable and fascinating. You can stop for hours and analyze each tiny detail, admire how it all fits and comes together in a beautiful whole object of art.
But there is one little aspect about these objects of art, which you may not realize at the beginning: they are all alive.
Art Around Living Bonsai Trees
Yes, every single sculpture, every miniature object is fit around the trunk of a bonsai tree. While, in real world, we modify nature and shape it around our streets and buildings, Takanoki Aiba does the exact opposite.
It is his manifesto: a world where nature is central to everything and the man made environment bends and adapts to the elements of living natural world. If you take a closer look, you realize that the tree is in no way harmed, cut, bent or maimed to accommodate the sculpted stairs, decks, chairs and umbrellas. These items are, instead, carefully and cleverly placed on the bends, nooks and flat surfaces of the living tree.
The Metaphor of Future
There is a deeper meaning in Takanoki Aiba’s artwork. It can be interpreted as an outlook to the future, a path to follow, not just in art, but, most importantly in life. Putting nature at the center of everything, allowing it to dictate our environment and development is a powerful message. And, looking at Takanoki Aiba’s bonsai sculpture, an easily achievable goal. We just have to let nature take its course.