Ikebana Gallery Award FAQ

Q: Can I post my Ikebana work here?
A: Yes, anyone can. 

Any Ikebana practitioner can post his/her Ikebana works to this blog or to our Facebook page. 

But Ikebana teachers' works are not considered for the Ikebana Gallery Award. 

We welcome posts by Ikebana teachers. But please let us know that you are a teacher. In your post you are allowed to include a link to your web site. So, post your work and promote your site.

Q: Why award in Ikebana?  
A: This is a wonderful opportunity to add something special to your CV.

The online gallery, Ikebana Gallery was designed to support Ikebana students learning in Australia and other parts of the world through providing opportunities for them to share their works and learning experiences.

To further support and encourage Ikebana students’ learning, Ikebana Gallery organizes an award. This prestigious award will encourage students to study further, help them gain more carrier related opportunities, and it also aims to promote Ikebana, Japanese floral culture.

Q: How do you define "Ikebana Students"?
A: Ikebana students mean all Ikebana practitioners who are not qualified to teach yet.

We thought that this definition was simple and clear. But we found that some people keep studying Ikebana for many years without getting a teaching qualification. That is wonderful. However, to be fair, we have to eliminate their works.

We now have to introduce the second condition. This award is for those who are studying Ikebana for no more than 5 years.

For instance, Sogetsu school has 4 grades in Certificate and 8 grades in Teacher's Diploma. Once you obtained the first teacher's diploma (4th grade Yonkyu Shihan), we regard you as a teacher and you are not eligible for this award whether you are practicing teaching or not. Also even if you have not obtained teacher's diplomayou are not eligible after studying Ikebana for more than 5 years.    

You may have your own definition for "an Ikebana student". But you are not eligible for this award if you don't belong to the above definition. 

We accept works by those who are studying Ikebana under difficult conditions (Please see the last question in this page). However, we may not accept works by those who are not studying or practicing Ikebana.    

Q: How can I submit my work?
A: Use Email or Facebook.

To make submission easier, we have started an Ikebana Gallery Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/IkebanaGallery

Now you have 2 options of where to submit your works.

1. Send by email. Please see Award page in our blog for the details. http://ikebanaaustralia.blogspot.com.au/p/award.html

2. Simply like Ikebana Gallery Facebook Page and post and share your work. https://www.facebook.com/IkebanaGallery 

Your post needs to be approved to appear on the wall of the page. 

If your work was selected for a finalist, we will contact you for more details through Facebook. Until then, it is better not to include your contact details in your post, because we cannot edit or delete them. If you included your contact details in your post and shared it to our page, your contact details will be published.   

If you don’t have a Facebook account, you cannot upload your work directly. However, you can still see the page.

Q: What happens next?
A: From Facebook to blog.

We hope that more Ikebana works will appear on Ikebana Gallery Facebook Page. Then, Ikebana Gallery Committee will constantly select works from the Facebook Page and publish them on this blog. 

Priority is given to those works that reflect basic Ikebana principles well. Those works would be good examples and inspirations for other Ikebana students.  

The works by those who have no or little formal Ikebana training may be published in our Facebook but may not be published in our blog.

Please accept our selection as final. We are not able to answer to inquiries about our decision. If your work was not selected, just try again. Send another work or consider using other websites or Facebook pages to share your work.

Q: My work was on your Facebook but not on your blog. Will my work be considered for the award?
A: Yes. 

All students' works on both our Facebook and blog are regarded as entries for the award. Some works are on both our Facebook and blog. But not all good works on Facebook are selected for the blog.   

Q: I sent my work but it did not appear on your Facebook page nor Blog. Why?
A: Check how you sent it. 

We accept submission only through email or Facebook (Simply share your work). Don't send you work as an attachment to your message. The Facebook system does not allow us to access your file. We can see it but we cannot post it on our site.

Also please note that we don't accept paintings of Ikebana, details of a work, works using artificial flowers and poor quality images (too dark, etc.).

We are wiling to post as many submissions as possible on our Facebook page. However, we sometime find that a submitted work may not belong to the category of Ikebana. It may belong to some other forms of art such as sculpture or Western flower arrangement. In that case, we may not post the work on our Facebook page. As our Facebook is for Ikebana students including many beginners, we don't want to confuse them. 

Q: Can I share my existing post to Ikebana Gallery on Facebook? 
A: Yes.

Go to your original post. There is the share button. Press and put copy link. Now came back to Ikebana Gallery and select "Post" then paste the link into the post. You should see a preview of your link if it works.

Q: I’d like to know the result of the competition. How can you keep in touch with me?
A: Use Email or Facebook.

There are several options to be in touch with us and to receive updates. Easy options are either 1 or 2.

1. Go to the Ikebana Gallery Australia Blog. Fill in and submit your email address in Follow by Email section on the right side column. 

2. Create a Facebook account. Like Ikebana Gallery Facebook Page and you will receive updates. https://www.facebook.com/IkebanaGallery 

Q: Will the winner get paid? 
A: No. 
Our award winner will receive a PDF certificate only. In 2012 and 2013 the winner received a prize money of Aus $200 each. But we found that such a prize does not necessarily contribute to our goal.       

Q: Who is administrating this blog?
A:  This blog is administrated by Dr Shoso Shimbo, Melbourne based Ikebana teacher and his team. www.shoso.com.au

Q: In my country there is no Ikebana teacher. We have no opportunity to learn Ikebana officially. We are still studying Ikebana under the guidance of our leader who has studied Ikebana but is not officially qualified to teach. Can we participate in your competition?
A: Yes.

We appreciate your passion for Ikebana under such a difficult condition. It is not easy to study Ikebana without following official courses set by recognised schools of Ikebana. Certain things can be passed only through face to face teaching. Our committee as well as our judges can almost always recognise whether you are studying Ikebana officially or not by looking at your work.

Importantly, however, our goal is to support Ikebana students all around the world indiscriminately. By Ikebana students we mean those who study it officially as well as unofficially. We welcome your submission to this award. We came to this decision for three reasons.

First, those who are studying Ikebana unofficially can bring something new to the competition. Consequently, we all may get inspiration. Their contribution can make Ikebana more fun. Historically Japanese Ikebana has developed through contribution by those were trained officially as well as by a small number of those who did not have any or very little official training.      

Second, true Ikebana artists should follow the spiritual teachings of Ikebana tradition. “The Ten Virtues of Ikebana” is one of such tradition (See http://www.shoso.com.au/2015/02/basic-ikebana-articles.html). It emphasises first of all the importance of no discrimination. Practicing such a principle may be difficult sometimes but helps our personal growth, which will reflect on our Ikebana works.

Ikebana consists of both artistic and spiritual aspects. If you ignore the personal growth, you can never be a true Ikebana artist. Of course we don’t intend to claim that we are particularly spiritual or true Ikebana artists, but we would like to follow the traditional Ikebana teachings in making decisions.

Third, Ikebana Gallery Award is the first online Ikebana competition that Ikebana students of any Ikebana school can globally participate in Ikebana history. This unique and generous project will be recognised as historically significant.

It is important for us to maintain our uniqueness, openness, fairness and friendliness. That is our philosophy. Because of this philosophy, we believe that our judges are willing to support this project voluntarily.

We are pleased to know that some Ikebana schools have recently started online competitions within their own schools. Those who are studying Ikebana officially can now participate in those competitions as well as our award. However, those who have no choice but to study Ikebana unofficially have no other option to participate in competitions but in ours.

Therefore, it is natural for us to invite those who don’t have opportunities to study Ikebana officially. Despite their passion for Ikebana, they are already in a disadvantaged position. Why do they have to be further punished by being excluded from this award? We hope we can help them by providing a small extra learning opportunity of receiving feedback from highly regarded Ikebana and art experts. We are sure that all Ikebana friends around the world will agree with our decision.     

We are aware that some may feel uncomfortable about our decision. However, flower will give us power to overcome fears inside us and help us make right decision.