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Flowers have been a universal cultural object for millennia. They are an important aesthetic element in everyday life worldwide, and have played a highly symbolic role in art throughout the ages. Over the past few years, Makoto Azuma has created a furor in the art world with his floral installations, in which he creates unusual new shapes from plants and flowers and their component parts. Inspired by the Japanese tradition of ikebana – the art of flower arranging – Azuma creates novel and previously unseen aesthetics by bringing together unusual plants that wouldn't usually meet in nature – some of them exotic – in extraordinary arrangements. Shunsuke Shiinoki, who opened the "haute-couture" florists Jardin des Fleurs in Tokyo in 2002 in association with Makoto Azuma, captured these exceptional floral installations in extraordinary photographs.