The annual highlight of autumn in the Japanese Garden in Hasselt, Belgium, is the Chrysanthemum Festival – Kiku Matsuri. During this festival, the Chrysanthemum is the guiding principle through which visitors make their way through the Japanese garden.
An international team of floral artists was present for the 2020 edition entitled “Haiku in Bloom”: Tom De Houwer (Belgium), Deborah Provenziani (Italy), Katleen Wuyts (Belgium), Liz Rosales (Mexico), Christa Ory (Belgium), Oana Penciu (Romania) and Tuba Belgin Oskan (Turkey).
Tom De Houwer was chosen as creative coordinator and mentor. His international students have provide beautiful designs for the works of letter cutter Jos Geusens.
As the Buddhist proverb says, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears, and when the teacher is ready, the students appear.” In 2018, the Japanese Garden was Tom’s teacher; today Tom is the teacher and mentor of his international team of passionate students. They are ready.
Since haiku has its rules, Tom De Houwer also has his rule: “Less is more”, which is also the common denominator of the “Zen” component, the guarantor of unity and harmony, just like the Japanese Garden.
Regine Motmans (Bloom Up) and Els Claes (Ikebana) took care of the further decoration of the Japanese garden.
Ten Haiku were chosen for “Haiku in Bloom”. A haiku is originally a form of Japanese poetry. It is a short unrhymed poem whose first line has 5 syllables, the second 7 and the third line. The basis of a haiku is the poet’s sensory experience, sometimes linked and inspired by Zen.