Ikebana Gallery Award 2023

Ikebana Gallery Award

First, we are very grateful to our wonderful judges who generously gave us their valuable input.

Thank you Ms Lesley Kehoe (Lesley Kehoe Galleries), Ms Susan Renouf (Former Adjunct Professor, Fashion & Textiles, RMIT University), Dr Yoshiho Kobayashi (Visiting Researcher at Ritsumeikan University, 立命館大学客員研究員; Senior Adviser, International Society of Ikebana Studies), Ms Hiroe Swen (Ceramic Artist, Former Lecturer, Australia National University), Mr Ken Smith ( Artist, Former Lecture, the Faculty of Art and Design at Monash University and Dr Osamu Inoue (Professor, Saga Art College, 嵯峨美術大学教授; President, International Society of Ikebana Research)

Their contribution made this international award, the world's first online Ikebana competition truly unique. It is so rare for Ikebana students to be assessed and to receive comments from art specialists like our judges. Please visit the “Judges” page for their profiles.

Also we are excited to welcome Mr Oshun Tsukagoshi as a guest judge this time. Oshun is vice-headmaster of Ikebana Shofu, and is a special guest for the Wa Melbourne Ikebana Festival 2024. He will present an Ikebana Dinner Show at Bleura House, Mornington, Melbourne. 

We are pleased to announce that the winners of the 2023 Ikebana Galley Gold Award is Violet Lee (B) and the 2023 Ikebana Galley Silver Award are Nguyen Thi Ngoc Bich (C) and Nguyen Thanh Son (E), and the Ikebana Gallery Bronze Award goes to Nguyen Thi Ngoc Bich (D). Those students will receive a certificate (digital file) from Ikebana Gallery. 

Our judges were asked to choose three works out of the five finalists in the order of their preference and the results were as follows:

Ms Renouf: E, C, D
Mr. Smith: D, E, C
Dr Kobayashi: B, E, D
Ms Swen: C, B, E
Ms Kehoe: A, D, B
Mr Tsukagoshi: B, C, A

We allocated 3 points to the first choice, 2 to the second and 1 to the third. The results were 9 points for B, 8 points for C & E, 7 points for D. Following are comments from our judges for each work.

Name: Violet Lee
Address: Hong Kong
Ikebana School : Sogetsu
Teacher: Ho Hin Shing
Materials: 荷花玉蘭, 月桃, 火鹤

Ms Kehoe: Third choice goes to entry B: aesthetically pleasing and appealing choice of materials.

Ms Swen: A fascinating picturesque world is created. 絵画的な世界を創り出しているのが面白い

Name: Nguyen Thi Ngoc Bich
From: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Ikebana Ikenobo.
Teacher: with the advice of the classmate.
Materials: pottery vase (the lid), hibiscus flower, Climbing Rose branches, grass.

Ms Swen: I like this classic expression in which straight and clean and soft curved lines are arranged side by side. 

Mr Smith:
An extremely delicate work where the spaces between the forms are as important as the forms themselves.

Ms Renouf: Chosen for its free flowing symmetry, and balance.

Name: Nguyen Thanh Son
From: Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam
Teacher: Nguyen Thanh Tu
School: Ikebana Ikenobo
Materials: Rose, Carissa carandas, Pandanus baptistii

Ms Swen: I like the direct expression of young heart. 若い心情が素直に現れている様で、好感が持てる。

Mr Smith: The unusual balancing vase form has been used to enhance a lively arrangement of contrasting forms and colours; warm/cool, spiky/soft; that all resolve to a point of focus.

Ms Renouf: Selected because it is so pleasing to the eye, with the 'pop' of colour, the elegant container, and the simplicity of form.

Name: Nguyen Thi Ngoc Bich
From: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Teacher: Thanh Hien Nguyen.
Ikebana Sogetsu.
Meterials: pottery vase, Lily, Queen Anne's Lace, salix.

Ms Kehoe: 
Second choice goes to entry D: beauty, balance, lovely choice of materials and very tastefully photographed which adds to the overall aesthetics.

Mr Smith: 
A dramatic and exuberant work contrasting small and larger flowers and highly dynamic stem forms to create a balance between implied movement and stability.

Ms Renouf: This arrangement using classically white flowers beautifully offsets the rustic nature of the vase and the fine branch framework.

Name : Thi Khanh Van Le
Hanoi Vietnam
School : Sogetsu
Teacher : Thanh Hien Nguyen , Kim Ta .
Materials : fresh and dry lotus seed pods, Lũa decor drift wood container.
Description : the cycle of life.

Ms Kehoe: It is especially gratifying to see the increase in quality of the entries each year. I have found it very hard to choose. I have to give my first choice to entry A: while it is not my favourite in terms of ‘beauty’, obviously a subjective assessment, it must be acknowledged for originality and innovative use of materials.

Congratulations to the winners (gold, silver, bronze & people's choice award). To request your certificate, please send an email to ikebana.gallery@gmail.com. Thank you.

Thank you to all the Ikebana students who have shared their works on our Facebook page. Thank you also to our committee members, 
Shoan Lo (Melbourne), Louise Worner (Belgium), & Hanna Nazarenko (Ukraine).

We are looking forward to receiving more images of your works for the Ikebana Gallery Award 2024. Our next entry period is from 24 to 30 June 2024.