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Flower song of minimalism and simplicity

By Xu Junqian | Shanghai Star | Updated: 2014-12-05 14:01

Flower song of minimalism and simplicity

In bloom: Yoji Kobayashi's simple floral designs give much thought to the placement of each flower. Photos provided to Shanghai Star

He's a rock'n'roll-drummer-turned florist, and Japan's Yoji Kobayashi says the two have more in common than you may imagine. Xu Junqian reports.

As a rock-and-roll-drummer-turned floral designer, Yoji Kobayashi believes flowers and plants can chorus as drums and guitars can paint.

Twenty years ago, the Tokyo born and bred drummer turned his back on his decadelong career in rock'n'roll, and started working part-time at a local florist, "one of the few jobs that would tolerate my long hair and rock'n'roll look", he says.

Now, this self-taught florist is one of the most sought-after floral designers in Tokyo, whose clientele includes five-star hotels, luxury boutiques and private parties. And he believes his early musical career guides him in flower arrangement.

"Believe it or not, nature can sing. When the raindrops fall onto leaves, when the wind travels between mountains and blows the flowers open, there is a song," says the 51-year-old floral designer, clad head to toe in black.

Kobayashi was invited to Shanghai by the Park Hyatt hotel as one of the "masters" for its annual Master of Food and Wine event, giving classes and, ideally, demonstrating the lifestyle of floral design.

"The job of a floral designer is simply to get people to quiet down and get them to listen to the symphony of nature," Kobayashi says.

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