How did you start working with flowers?
I wanted to be a musician but I couldn’t make enough money, so I did many part time jobs, one of which was working in a flower shop. I soon became the top maker of bouquets and arrangements. I remember my very first one: it was a huge bouquet of 100 roses.
Do your arrangements require a lot of preparatory work?
Yes. After studying where the installation is to be set, and deciding whether it will be vertically or horizontally placed, I draw a project on paper, detailing it as much as possible. This way, I can calculate the size and quantity of plants needed. The actual making can takes 6 to 8 hours a day for several days, with the help of an assistant.
© Yuji Kobayashi
How do you express tradition and innovation in your work?
Since my training wasn’t academic, I don’t feel a close link to floral design tradition. It doesn’t mean that I disrespect and disregard it, but I want to innovate and explore new territories. The only way to leave a mark is to look forward, not back to the past.
Do you prefer using plants or cut flowers?
I use fresh flowers for bouquets, but I’d rather work with plants complete with roots, leaves and stems. That way, after being used in my display they can be put back into the ground, which is good for sustainability. I don’t like dried flowers and use them only upon request.