A few years after my parents got married they moved to Seoul, Korea. At the time it was one of only two places a married couple in the Army could move together. It was either there or the middle of nowhere in the Midwest. So in 1982, they moved to Seoul where they lived for a year and some change. It was a life-altering experience for both of them.
Deeply inspired by the architecture, landscape, and culture of South Korea, my mother took up Korean flower arranging. This form of floral artistry combines Korean flowers and trees in uniquely, elegant unforced arrangements. Arrangements were primarily done by women in tea-houses, and in the greater houses.
On a recent trip back to my parents' house I came across old photo albums of their adventures in Asia. As a budding green thumb, my mother’s floral arrangements have been a source of inspiration. I would never call myself a florist, an amateur floral arranger...maybe. I enjoy the beauty one can create with plants and flowers grown with your own two hands.
I channeled my mother while creating the imagery to compliment her arrangements. As a child, she was always arranging flowers or working in the garden with my father. I was too young to truly understand the magic and healing properties of plants, but it’s something that has resonated with me for all these years.
My mother’s arrangements are a reminder of her beauty, strength, and abounding creativity. Although, she claims she was never quite good I believe the energy and intention you put into it is what makes the arrangement so powerful.
So this first blog post is dedicated to her, a beautiful black woman I see myself becoming each and every day. For if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t have the courage to put my work out there. I love you mom.
All photographs taken by Collection of Collections, unless otherwise noted.