Lonely Planet Writer

This art installation saw flowers being launched into the stratosphere above Nevada

A new collection of photographs has been released showing the culmination of a unique and ambitious art installation held last month that saw colourful bouquets of flowers being launched into the stratosphere above Nevada.

Colourful flowers float through space above Nevada
The project saw the flowers reaching an altitude of 30,000 metres. Image by ©AMKK

Called “Exobiotanica”, the project was created by artist Azuma Makoto as part of his ongoing experimental series entitled, “In Bloom” and was photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki. The name comes from the idea that the plants evolve into a kind of extra-terrestrial life when introduced to their new, unnatural environment. The experiment was done over the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, and saw the plants making it to an altitude of 30,000 metres into temperatures of -50 degrees Celsius and being photographed at that location.

The Exobiotanica team launching a craft in Nevada.
The Exobiotanica team launching a craft in Nevada. Image by ©AMKK

“Plants on the earth are rooted in the soil, under the command of gravity. By giving up the links to life, what kind of ‘beauty’ shall be born? A pine tree confronting the ridge of the Earth, a bouquet of flowers marching towards the sun hit by the intense wind, freed from everything, the plants head to space,” artist Azuma Makoto said.

The installation is part of an ongoing plant series entitled, "In Bloom".
The installation is part of an ongoing plant series entitled, “In Bloom”. Image by ©AMKK

Other installations from “In Bloom”, a series that concentrates on flowers being arranged in naturally impossible situations, include a mass of flowers that were placed deep under the ocean, while plans are now in place for the team to revisit space once again for a future piece of the project. The next instalment will use significantly larger and heavier arrangements, weighing an estimated 6kg, with bouquets being launched from the Love Lock Desert in Nevada. The bouquets will be arranged around the structure of the Earth and photographed with a medium-format mirrorless camera to chart the movement in full clarity.

Flowers floating above the Nevada Desert
An exhibition is due to open in October, featuring photographs from the project. Image by ©AMKK

A gallery exhibition is due to be opened in October that will include 13,000 prints of the stunning project, with images being made available to purchase. Each photograph will be certified with a serial number, edition number and autograph of the artist, as well as information on what height the photographed subject actually reached.

More information on the project is available on the Exobiotanica website.