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Japanese Botanical Artist Launches His Bonsai into Space

Japanese botanical artist Makoto Azuma’s flower arrangements are, quite literally, out of this world. His beautiful plants were recently launched into outer space as a part of his latest project, ‘Exobiotonica’. The launch took place on July 15 at the Nevada Black Rock Desert, with the help of Sacramento-based independent space program, JP Aerospace.

“I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” said Azuma, who is well known in Japan for his extravagant performances involving flowers. There was this one time when he stomped on hundreds of flowers during a musical performance. Once, he stuffed flowers into glass jars and filled them with water-like sardines. He has also created office chairs and Hello Kitty dolls entirely covered in green grass.

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With his latest project though, Azuma has taken floral art to new heights. The plants that he sent into the stratosphere included a 50-year-old Japanese white pine bonsai and a floral bouquet made of different types of flowers from around the world. The selected plants were tied to helium balloons, which got the bonsai up to an altitude of about 91,800 ft and the bouquet up to 87,000 ft.

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JP Aerospace specialize in launching everyday objects like chairs and tables into outer space. But their ‘intergalactic art show’ in collaboration with Azuma has got to be their greatest work so far. The huge helium balloons tied to the plants were contained in tent-like contraptions. When it was time to launch, someone ran forward and undid the zipper on the tents, freeing the balloons to roam the stratosphere. A lens attached to the balloons captures every single angle of the flight.

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The video footage of the launch will be featured at an art and photography exhibit in Paris, in September.

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via Spoon &Tamago

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