Yinzhou’s China Flower Arrangement Art Museum |?中国插花艺术馆“花开”鄞州


Written by (作者): Jojo Chen 陈姣姣
Photos by (图片来源): China Flower Arrangement Art Museum??中国插花艺术馆


On November 1st, 2016, the China Flower Arrangement Museum was officially opened in Yinzhou. Although it is a national museum, it is privately owned by Zhejiang Lanhai Group, an organization that invested 50 million RMB over a 6-year period to bring the 8,800 square meter complex to life.

Its safe to say that anyone who visits this museum, with its 20,000 square meters of gardens, lawns, orchards and lotus ponds topped with pavilions, will fall in love with flowers. We visited the museum prior to its opening in mid-November, where we were able to take a tour and speak with executive curator Lei Qin and technical director Cunzhou Wang. At the end of such an experience, even we weren’t immune to the museum’s charms.

Flower arrangement is an ancient tradition that is said to have taken root during the Spring and Autumn Period prior to the Warring States Period. After further development during the Qin and Han Dynasties, it later flourished (pun intended) during the Tang and Song Dynasties. Even?with its decline following the establishment of the PRC and the turbulent times that followed, it was finally revived during China’s opening up. Be that as it may, through thick and thin this tradition has lasted well over 3,000 years.

The museum expertly documents this history, vividly reproducing the floricultural styles popular during these different periods of history. Exhibits are also divided into different types based upon the people who developed them, such styles include Aulic flower arrangement, Scholar flower?arrangement, Folk flower arrangement and Temple flower arrangement. These exhibits, located on the 1st floor, are joined by flower vases discovered in the Yue Kilns and Longquan Kilns of Ningbo, making the city an important location in the development of the art. Flower arrangement was even picked up in the Tiantong and Asoka Temples, as evidenced by artifacts from these locations.

The museum takes on a different feel on the 2nd floor, which is more of an international?exhibition hall with a wide variety of Eastern and Western flower arrangements from Taiwan, Japan, the Netherlands, USA and other countries. It was interesting to see the difference in the aesthetic of flower arrangements, whereas the ones from East Asian countries featured less flowers that?were arranged for a more natural feel, but the ones from the West featured more geometric and full arrangements.

Director Wang informed us that the over 300 flower arrangement works displayed in these?two floors of the museum required a group of prominent floral designers from all over?China a month of preparation prior to the opening of the museum. As to how long the?arrangements would need to be updated or replaced, Wang told us “the typical lifespan?of these artificial flowers is three to five years considering their exposure to light and the?erosion from dust. Although we will keep up regular maintenance, they are expected to?be replaced successively in two years time.”

Another thing we were curious about was the choice of Ningbo as the location for a national museum, when national museums in most countries – China included – are usually located in their capital or other important cities. The reasoning for the Flower Arrangement Museum in Ningbo, Curator?Qin tells us, is not only because of Ningbo’s high standing in Zhejiang Province and the?fact that the province is the location of the museum’s main investor, but also because?of the region’s long history with flower arranging and the fact that, economically speaking, it was the most viable location to settle the museum.

The choice of Ningbo as the museum’s location will play into its future development?as well. Qin explained to us that because Ningbo was still a major hub for Chinese flower arranging, the museum hoped to become a place where amateur flower artists could converge and hold functions and meetings, as well as learn how to better their art. There will also be special exhibitions,?performances, training sessions and events to garner interest amongst the general public?towards flower arranging. The museum also hopes to play a role in the spread of Chinese flower arrangements and floral art culture around the world, having already held a month-long exhibition in Keukenhof Park in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with the goal of introducing the tradition to?locals and tourists. In order to continue such work, Qin tells us that there will be a summit?forum in the near future to set up a national delegation of Chinese flower arrangement specialists that will tour the nation and world, spreading the art in their wake.

Love of beauty is something timeless and not compelled by national boundaries. Following traditional flower arranging being listed as a national cultural heritage in 2008, the idea of a China Flower Arrangement Art Museum was put into play and after 6 years of dedication, it has finally become a reality. The art of traditional flower arranging can now be shared with the people of Ningbo, expat community and visitors to our wonderful city, and maybe even spread and?shared around the world.













China Flower Arrangement Art Museum|中国插花艺术馆
Address|地址:58, Lanhai Alley, Tiangong Road, Xiaying Street, Yinzhou District, Ningbo|
宁波市鄞州区下应街道天工路蓝海巷58 号(毗邻宁波服装博物馆)