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Design

Daniel Ost’s Orchid Sculptures

June 14, 2018

Daniel Ost created this masterpiece in the Bronx, at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory’s glasshouse. Frequently using bamboo in his displays, Ost learned about the versatile material during his 100+ visits to Japan.

Image courtesy of: The Culture Trip

The 16th Orchid Show at NYC’s Botanical Gardens invited acclaimed Dutch flower designer, Daniel Ost, to collaborate… and the result was outstanding! The Dutch artist is world-renowned for his non-traditional flower arrangements. It’s his non-conventional philosophy to flower designing that allows him to design what he creates. Ost says that once the flowers are cut and removed from nature, their relationship can’t be replicated; and thus, his approach is to create something completely new and to “reach people with a new language.”

This 18-foot-tall sculpture was placed under the Palms of the World Gallery’s dome. More than 2,000 bright pink and white orchids are intertwined with clear tubes.

Image courtesy of: The Culture Trip, photographed by: Rachel Gould

Ost’s story is quite interesting… loving flowers even as a child, he was sent to military school in hopes of curing him from this “strange” obsession. Umm, it didn’t quite work! Subsequent trips to the Far East allowed Ost to get a different appreciation and perspective for flowers.

During Ost’s first journey for Japan in 1983, he befriended ikebana grand master, Noboru Kurisaki. Ikebana is flower arranging according to a strict and precise set of rules. This idea taught Ost to be selective with the flowers he worked with.

 

The press release for the 16th Orchid Show said, “large-scale artworks have been tailored to the unique environment of the landmark Victorian style Haupt Conservatory, complementing the architecture of the building while creating a transformative, dazzling spectacle of color, form, and texture. Bamboo, arranged in grids and calling to mind the glass grids of the Conservatory, and clear tubing, meant to both evoke water and connect to the Conservatory’s glass, are among the materials employed in his artful installations to which individual orchids are attached so that each flower and form can be seen and appreciated.”

Image courtesy of: NY Metro Parents

Ost has been compared to some of the world’s greatest sculptural artists, such as Anish Kapoor and Andy Goldsworthy. Always original, Ost never repeats any of his compositions. His pieces have been exhibited in art galleries, museums, and fashion runway shows. As Ost says, “Good work needs good ideas, and I am always rethinking.”

Ost’s installations are otherworldly!

Image courtesy of: Daniel Ost

There are thousands of different species of orchids and suffice to say that Ost has used a vast majority of them in his living sculptures. Both architects, designers and artists are in awe Ost’s works. Acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has said, “I often find inspiration from Ost’s creations.” After viewing an Ost display, Kengo continues, “I’m ready to abandon my own career as an architect in the pursuit of a new integrated field that transcends categorization.”

There are two Daniel Ost stores… this one in Sint-Niklaas is so charming!

Image courtesy of: Daniel Ost

As the oldest of 6 children, Ost never moved too far from home. “Floréal” opened more than 3 decades ago in an 18-century townhouse in Sint-Niklaas, Ost’s hometown. Ost opened this charming flower shop with his wife, Marie-Anne; and because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, their daughter, Nele, has also joined the family business.

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