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Exploring the Artistic Life Through Chinese Floral Art


Exploring the artistic life through Chinese flower art I recently went to Taiwan to take a course again. Last year I stayed for two months, but this time I can only stay for two weeks. Because of the tight schedule, I am basically with flowers every day. I have to empty myself completely, like a squeezed sponge, to absorb and push myself to the limit. I have now entered the advanced programme, where the ‘high-standing’ and ‘high-rising’ styles are very different from the traditional approach of placing the main flower in the lowest position. In the high-standing style, the main flower is placed at a height of five, like the head-to-body ratio of one-fifth when a ruler sits on a throne. This is known as the “five-headed” proportion. In the “high-rising” style, the main flower is placed at a height of seven, like the head-to-body ratio of one-seventh when a ruler is standing. This is known as the “seven-head” proportion. Isn’t that interesting? Chinese floral art emphasises natural harmony and pursues a dynamic, ethereal aesthetic. From the selection of the right flowers to their skilful arrangement and accentuation, every step of Chinese flower arranging requires deep cultural knowledge and refined craftsmanship. The traditional wisdom and exquisite techniques embedded in this art form are the key to its intergenerational transmission. Whether in colour matching, line arrangement or composition, every detail reflects the depth and breadth of Chinese culture. Only by immersing oneself in it can one truly appreciate the infinite charm of Chinese flower arranging.


The Chinese floral art curriculum, similar to the Ikenobo, Koryu, Sogetsu and Kado schools in Japan, has a systematic certification programme that allows students to progressively master this art form. Whether you are a beginner or an enthusiast, students can follow the textbooks and learn systematically. From elementary to intermediate levels, there are no exams – just complete all the classes to apply for the certificate. At the end of the advanced programme, students can enter the first round of examinations. Passing the examination allows entry to the research programme.


To become an instructor, one must complete both the Research I and II programmes, pass the written and flower arrangement examinations, and this process takes at least five years. But the subjects of floral arrangement are endless. Each encounter with flowers brings new inspirations and challenges, and the experience is unique and irreplaceable. Entering the advanced research programme will bring even more new shocks and stimuli.

In recent years, Hong Kong has been actively promoting the inheritance of Chinese culture, and Chinese flower arrangement, as one of the four great classical arts of China, has received increasing attention. From classical poetry and paintings, we can see the deep-rooted love of flowers in the cultural DNA of the Chinese nation.


We should all cherish this ancient cultural treasure and work together to make flower lovers experience the beauty of this art. Like the ancients, we can bring flowers into our homes, live with them and feel the traditional Chinese philosophy and wisdom through floral art.

Chinese Flower Art