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Exhibition combines visuals of Jordanian desert with Japanese flower arrangement

By Suzanna Goussous - Mar 10,2016 - Last updated at Mar 10,2016

Flower arrangements utilising the Japanese art of Ikebana on display at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts until Saturday (Photo by Suzanna Goussous)

AMMAN — Showcasing the beauty of the desert and natural flowers, an exhibition of Ikebana opened on Wednesday to showcase different images of the desert through the Japanese art of flower arrangement. 

Ikebana entails using materials such as tree branches, leaves and blossoms. It is a “way to express love for nature”, according to one of the participants.  

The seventh annual exhibition, held at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, showcases art pieces by Jordanian women interested in the art of Ikebana.

Thanaa Khatib, one of the participants, said her passion for the art grew with her.

“This exhibition combines the old and the modern; Japanese art and Jordanian culture are presented together,” she told The Jordan Times.

Khatib has been practising Ikebana for 28 years, during which she gained more knowledge of Japanese culture.

Another participant said she received five certificates from Japan and became a teacher of Ikebana.

“We arranged flowers in the theme of the Jordanian desert and the southern region of the country; I made a piece that represents the sea and another one that represents the desert,” she added.

HRH Princess Wijdan Al Hashemi, who attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition, said: “It goes without saying that the art pieces showcased in the exhibition are well done.”

“Flower exhibitions are the specialty of women… they spread beauty among people and introduce them to aspects of Japanese culture,” she told The Jordan Times. 

For her part, former MP Reem Badran said exhibitions reflect the civilisation and the culture of nations.

“The interest of people in a specific culture adds to their humanity... history is made through paintings and sculptures,” she told The Jordan Times.

Japanese Ambassador to Jordan Shuichi Sakurai told The Jordan Times Ikebana exhibitions enhance communication between the Jordanian and the Japanese peoples.

“This is a very good opportunity for a Jordanian to know the culture of Japan, so it is very [important] to have this kind of chance here,” he said.

“In the case of Japan, the Japanese culture is introduced from China and Korea, we developed their culture indigenously. Jordanians will also be developing our culture indigenously,” Sakurai added.

“This is a symbol of cooperation between the two countries… Japanese art schools in Jordan digest the Japanese culture very well. They present the mixture of [both cultures].” 

The ambassador continued that this year the theme adopted by the women is Wadi Rum and Aqaba, to “express Jordanian culture by Japanese tools”.


The exhibition continues through Saturday, according to the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts.

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