Koji Arai is one of those people who discover their vocation and great passion in life by chance. When he took a job in a flower shop in Sao Paolo, he did it mainly out of practical necessity and to improve his level of Portuguese. The man could barely tell a tulip from a rose, let alone tie a bouquet. There was not much time to teach him the special tricks and finer points of flower arranging, so Koji Arai learned the trade mainly by stealing with his eyes. He turned out to be an exceptional talent. His love for plants, flowers and floral design grew into an obsession. Back in Japan, he became floral designer and product developer at Dai-ichi Engei. The designs in this book, however, are not related to his professional work. The Eternal Flower is his declaration of love to flowers. With this book, he wants to give a voice to the beauty of their colours, their wonderful eccentricity, their shapes, their life and death, their fragility and elegance and cherish and preserve them for eternity. Koji Arai puts his talent at the service of his beloved flowers, hoping to move as many people as possible with their unique individuality. Something he does with great mastery and bravura.
Bouquets is the new book in Laura Dowling’s inspiring ‘how-to’ series and builds on the premise of her successful first book Floral Diplomacy in the White House (2016), namely the idea that flowers have the power to change the way people think and feel and to create powerful emotional connections – with nature and with others, with our past and with our desires for the future.