The New Botanists; contemporary floristry in Hong Kong

FEB 26, 2019

Nature blooms in the concrete jungle

We always look for new ways to express ourselves, new avenues for creativity, imagination and playfulness. One artform that is blossoming in Hong Kong right now is floristry. Modern florists aren’t just selling the same old bouquets, they are producing expressive works of art for any occasion.

Some may consider it a hackneyed epithet, but the term "concrete jungle" is as accurate as a description gets when speaking about Hong Kong. While most outsiders picture Hong Kong as a razor-sharp skyline of glass skyscrapers, we know that this metropolis still consists of 75-percent green space, a fact that can easily be missed when our urban playground is viewed from down on the street.

In addition to being one of the most densely populated places in the world, Hong Kong is also home to a rich botanical heritage filled with rare species indigenous to the subtropical region. Perhaps this accounts for the renewed vigour with which Hongkongers are embracing floristry. A sanctuary for these exotic floral specimens, the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Garden, sits amidst the bustling Central district, demonstrating one of many ways the dynamic city fuses contrasting elements in concentrated spaces. This play of opposites is a hallmark influence to many of Hong Kong’s floral artisans, such as Solomon Bloemen, Gemma Hayden Blest, Kirk Cheng, and Ellerman.

These Hong Kong floral architects bring nature’s offerings into interior spaces, shaping blooms into expressive flower arrangements that have now become integral to the city’s contemporary design language.