Saturday, 7 September 2019

Ikebana Gallery Award 2019

We are very grateful to our wonderful judges who generously gave us their valuable input.

Thank you Ms Lesley Kehoe (Lesley Kehoe Galleries),
Ms Susan Renouf (Adjunct Professor, Fashion & Textiles, RMIT University),
Dr Yoshiho Kobayashi (Associate Professor, Outemon University追手門学院大学准教授, President, International Society of Ikebana Studies),
Ms Hiroe Swen (Ceramic Artist, Former Lecturer, Australia National University),
Mr Ken Smith (Artist, Former Lecturer, Monash University),   
Dr Osamu Inoue (Associate Professor, Kyoto University of Art & Design京都造形芸術大学准教授; Vice President, International Society of Ikebana Studies) and
Dr Yutaka Mino (Director - Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, the Vice Chairman - Sotheby’s North America, the Chief Executive Director - the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa & the Honorary Director - Osaka Municipal Museum of Art兵庫県立美術館館長, 金沢21世紀美術特任館長、大阪市立美術館名誉館長).

Their contribution made this international award, the world's first online Ikebana competition truly unique. It is so rare for Ikebana students to be assessed and to receive comments from art specialists like our judges. Please visit the “Judges” page for their profiles.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2019 Ikebana Galley Gold Award is Lai Fong. The Ikebana Gallery Silver Award 2018 goes to Sophi & Gloria, and the Ikebana Gallery Bronze Award goes to Maryvonne & Марина. Those students will receive a certificate from Ikebana Gallery.

Our judges were asked to choose three works out of the five finalists in the order of their preference and the results were as follows:

Ms Renouf: 1. Gloria, 2. Lai Fong, 3. Марина
Dr Kobayashi: 1. Sophi, 2. Lai Fong, 3. Mayvonne, 
Ms Swen: 1. Mayvonne,  2. Gloria, 3. Lai Fong
Mr Smith: 1. Марина, 2. Sophi 3. Lai Fong

We allocated 3 points to the first choice, 2 to the second and 1 to the third. The results were 6 points for Lai Fong, 5 points for Sophi & Gloria, and 4 points for Mayvonne & Марина

Following are comments from our judges for each work.

Gold Award: Lai Fong (Melbourne, Australia)
Sogetsu School

Mr. Smith: This composition is exuberant in its richness of contrasting forms, colours, textures and visual dynamics. It succeeds by restraining all these different energies with the gravitational weight of the container.

Ms Renouf: Chosen for its general appeal and pleasing form and colours. It would be appealing as a traditional celebration piece , such as for Christmas or a wedding.

Ms Swen: 写真の撮り方には配慮が必要かと思う。花が沈んで暗く見えるのはマイナス。
Please consider how to take a good photo of ikebana. Flowers should not look too dark.   

Silver Award: Gloria 

Ms Renouf: Chosen for it’s delightful composition and spatial arrangement - I love it’s simplicity and choice of ingredients.
Ms Swen: 野菜などを巧みに配置して空間を演出した感覚と実験を認める
I recognise the student's experimental effort and sensibility to activate the space by carefully arranging vegetables and other objects.    

Silver Award: Sophi (Melbourne, Australia)
Sogetsu School

Mr Smith: This arrangement has an austere and restricted colour palette but balances this simplicity with a dynamic cantilevered displacement of forms. The work skilfully combines contrast and repetition to create an audacious but rhythmic composition.

Bronze Award: Mayvonne

Ms Swen: 秋そのままが表現されて、色の組み合わせが美しい。衒いのない生け花に、安らぎと、好感が持てる
Combination of colours is so beautiful expressing the essence of Autumn. It is calming and pleasing to see an ikebana work without any pretension.

Bronze Award: Марина 

Mr Smith: This work is arresting in its originality for all the plant forms are contained within the supporting vessel rather than extending from it. This sense of intimate containment is intensified by the small red form hidden within the surrounding green mass and visually exploits the colour phenomena of complementary contrast most dramatically. The water level visible within the transparent glass vessel asserts a horizontal stability in contrast to the apparent instability of the whole arrangement.

Ms Renouf: Chosen for its unique choice of container and the difficulty of execution. It is beautifully formed and the intriguing hint of red at its core is beautiful.

Congratulations to the winners. Please send an email to so that we can send you a certificate (PDF file). 

Thank you to all the Ikebana students who have shared their works on our blog & Facebook page. Thank you also to our committee members. We are looking forward to receiving more images of your works for the Ikebana Gallery Award 2020. Our semi-finalists for September 2019 Quarter (works posted from July to September 2019) will be announced in October 2019 in our blog & Facebook page.