It's important as a small, budding ikebana group to stay in touch with our neighboring countries and other international ikebana communities. I've been in contact with Kou-you Sawada, teacher of the Bangkok Study Group, for two years now. We met in Singapore for the Sogetsu Branch's 50th Anniversary in 2016, and spontaneously coordinated meeting again. In early March I was given the chance to visit him and some of his students during the ikebana class.
Since I've now had the chance to visit and study various Sogetsu groups internationally, I was surprised to see so many flowers given to each student. I'd say that this represents the colourful and vibrant culture of Thailand accurately. I was thrilled to see such beautiful flowers with the bright smiles of the students at the Voice Hobby Club (Japanese cultural centre) class. Everyone was incredibly kind and welcoming! I made three arrangements during the day, learning a lot of ideas and techniques that made ikebana feel fresh and challenging once again.
Thank you to Sawada-sensei and his assistant, Shiro-sensei, for your hospitality. I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon!
(Below: Some arrangements by his students.)
Information on Kou-you Sawada's ikebana lessons in Bangkok can be found on his website: https://kou-you.jimdo.com/
It's only in Japanese and Thai, but he also speaks English, You may find his contact information at the bottom of the Sogetsu HQ's page: http://www.sogetsu.or.jp/e/study/class/asia/
Photos are by Kou-you Sawada and Auralynn Nguyen.