The streets of São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, are often bustling and full of colour, and this was emphasised earlier this year as a fleet of flower bicycles took to the streets.
“Flower Messenger” is the work of Japanese artist Azuma Makoto, who is renowned for his botanical sculptures. In a blend of performance and installation art, his work explores flowers and plants, and finds unique ways to showcase them.
His previous works have included floating a pine tree above a snowfield in Japan, displaying the death and life of oral sculptures in Tokyo, and sending bonsai and bouquets into the stratosphere. Makoto’s work is all about taking an everyday item to places nature does not traditionally allow.
In his latest work, 30 young Japanese cyclists took to the streets in flower bicycles, making their way along Paulista Avenue and past the city’s main landmarks. The aim was to bring art to the streets, emphasising colours, textures and contexts of the urban landscape. The messengers would also give owers to passers-by, offering a sense of surprise and joy.
The project marked the inauguration of the cultural institution, Japan House São Paulo, which showcases the best of 21st-century Japan.