WHAT CHERRY BLOSSOM MEANS FOR US
O-hanami - cherry tree blossom viewing - is a ritual in Japan that goes back to several centuries. You cannot dissociate it from Japanese culture. It is a symbol of hope, of the start of a new cycle, of a new stage in life— but also of the impermanence of all things and that we should right here, right now (ima koko). After all, this beautiful and breath-taking moment lasts only a few days before petals fall, dispersed by a gentle breeze, replaced by emerald leaves.
The key is not to get lost in nostalgia or regret but celebrate this explosion of color as it should be, with a deep-set appreciation and gratitude. The bittersweet meaning of o-hanami struck us faster than we could have ever thought when we moved to Japan in 2009.
At first, it was only beauty and celebration. After all, it coincides with our son’s birthday, so it was joyful. But then, in March 2011, as the world seemed to come apart, with too many deaths to count, those beautiful trees with their delicate pink and white flowers standing out against vivid blue skies reminded us that yes, nothing lasts and nature is more powerful than us. That it will outlast us all.
Since then, every year, blossoming is a reminder of what was lost, but also of resilience and starting anew. Today, all of us are faced with uncertainty and the feeling that nothing will ever be the same. In a terrible but also maybe in a good way. But the cherry trees still blossom and with this special gallery, we hope to bring them to you, all around the world.