The Wafu School of Ikebana is scheduled to host its 2023 Flower Show and California Chapter 50th Anniversary Celebration 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 4 and 5 at the Quinlan Community Center in Cupertino.
The show, postponed the past two years, will feature flower arrangements from students and teachers at the school.
Fusako Hoyrup, founder and president of the California chapter, said Ikebana is a re-creation of nature on a small scale. The purpose is to emphasize the flower’s natural beauty in artistic arrangements, as well as to transfer nature’s energy so that people can feel it.
“A human being has spirit, and each flower, branch, everything has it,” Hoyrup said. “Every one of them shows beauty. They grow toward sunlight, just as people look at the sun. People can feel that energy coming to them from the sun, and that energy can’t compare to anything else. Ikebana flower arrangements have so much energy, and you can feel each of them. Living spirit touches living spirit. I think it’s a beautiful thing.”
Show co-chairperson Leona Fung said the event has brought joy to people since 1971.
The show has been held at the Quinlan Community Center since it opened in 1990. Prior to that, Fung said they sought out any open space they could, even holding it at an old, empty supermarket in Mountain View. It was there that the then-mayor of Cupertino invited her to host it at Quinlan.
Fung, a student of Hoyrup’s, said she took her first Ikebana class in 1990 and has looked at nature in a completely different way ever since.
“She taught us how to appreciate the beauty no matter what state all of the plants are in,” Fung said. “Whether it’s in winter with bare branches or spring with buds that are blooming, at different stages we appreciate them differently. And it’s absolutely true – every time I look at things, I just think it’s so beautiful, even if it’s a bare branch.”
Although Fung expects the show to be smaller this year, “we will do our very best to share the beauty of flowers,” she said. “People will feel the peace and tranquility of nature. That is my goal to share with everybody.”
Showcasing the beauty of nature
The plan is for each Ikebana student to display at least one flower arrangement. The students are as young as 10, and Hoyrup said seeing these kids reminded her of her own experiences with flowers as a child. When she was 4 years old, Hoyrup said her father gave her a small flower bed and some varying sizes of seeds.
“My father said, ‘You must give water,’ so I watered them every day, even when it was raining,” Hoyrup said. “The tiniest seed was the biggest flower, which surprised me. I showed my father and said, ‘Look at this big flower! It’s beautiful,’ and he was very, very happy. That was the first time I opened my eyes for the flowers, and after that, I really paid attention to the flowers and trees in my garden.”
Some students are over 80, Hoyrup noted. When doing flower arrangements, there is no limit to how old you can be, and when you are making one, you forget everything else that is happening around you, Fung added.
Preparation for the show started almost a year ago, Fung said, as they have to ensure the venue will be available, plan and publicize the event, get the members’ combinations before purchasing the right flowers and plan how to set up.
One week before the show, the plain room in the community center will be converted into a museum-like arrangement adorned with tables and backgrounds Hoyrup’s late husband had custom designed and built for the show.
Hoyrup added that she hopes attendees can enjoy the show and feel the energy that nature has to offer through their flower arrangements.
“Even if they don’t know anything about Ikebana, they can feel the beauty right away,” she said. “They will feel comfortable looking at it, and they’ll feel that all their pain is gone. When you look at something beautiful, you forget everything, right? So, we try to show nature’s beauty as much as possible.”
Admission to the show is free. The Quinlan Community Center is located at 10185 N. Stelling Road.
For more information, visit wafu-ikebana.org.
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