The Garden Club of Seoul hosted a Live Flower Arrangement Exhibition at the Raemian Gallery in Seoul on April 3, 2014, where on display were a total of live flower arrangement works created by spouses of the ambassadors of 16 member countries of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps (SDC).
Opening of the exhibition was attended by nearly 100 persons, namely the spouses of the ambassadors of the participating countries and media representatives. The participating countries included Brunei Darussalam (dean of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps [SDA]), the Slovak Republic, the United States, Poland, Japan, Chile, Turkey, Singapore, Korea, India, Georgia, Iraq, Indonesia, Egypt, Australia, Canada, Korea the United Kingdom (co-president of the Garden Club of Seoul).
Among other guests were Founder-President Im Wha-Kong of the Garden Club of Seoul (chairperson of the Whakong Live Flower Arrangement Association); Co-President Kim Jong-sook of the Seoul Garden Club; Ambassadors Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam (dean of SDA), Krzysztof Majka of Poland, Sung Kim of the United States of America and Bessho Koro of Japan; and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post.
According to the creators of the live flower arrangement works, the National Flag of each country was taken as theme of their work and additionally the colors, mountains and other unique features of the countries.
Attracting the attention of the Korean guests at the exhibition was a Hangeul (Korean-language) poetic calligraphic work done by Ambassador Bessho Koro put behind the Ikebana work of his wife, which was to the following effect in prose: “What does not change in this world? The deep pool in the Asuka River has now become a shallow, babbling ford.”
Speaking to the guests, Co-President Wightman (spouse of the British ambassador) said, “I hope that today’s show will provide a chance to see how some of our member countries and others from around the world express themselves through flowers. It certainly lifts my hearts to see so many beautiful flowers and to see so much talent shown in the arrangements.”
Excerpts from the speech:
On behalf of my co-President, Mrs Kim Chong Sook, and myself, I would like to welcome you to the Raemian Gallery for the annual Garden Club Flower Show. It is a pleasure to be here with my fellow Garden Club members and friends from other Embassies, many of whom have contributed to the show today with some beautiful floral decorations.
I must firstly thank the Raemian Gallery for allowing us to use this wonderful space here this morning and for being so generous with their resources. Thank you too to those who have contributed arrangements and brought some delicious looking food for us to eat. The show would not be possible, of course, without the support and supervision of our dear friend, Mrs. Im Wha-Kong, who so tirelessly gives of her time each year and puts on a magnificent display of flower arranging.
The Garden Club of Seoul began in November 1957 with the purpose of stimulating interest in the study of soil and climactic conditions relating to trees, shrubs and flowers in Korea.
The Bye-Laws of the Club require that there are no more than 36 members of which 20 are international and 16 Korean. We are a little over that number right now, but with the vagaries of diplomatic life we have a few comings and goings each year, so it is usually possible to keep numbers fairly balanced.
The Club meets once a month and has traditionally focused on programmes which include talks, garden shows, flower arrangement demonstrations, planting trees and excursions to beautiful gardens, usually those of some of our members. The Club has also been active in donating to worthy charities throughout Koreas and donations in the form of scholarships for horticulture students have also been made in the past.
I hope that today’s show will provide a chance to see how some of our member countries and others from around the world express themselves through flowers. It certainly lifts my hearts to see so many beautiful flowers and to see so much talent shown in the arrangements. Please make sure to help yourself to coffee, tea, juice and a varied selection of edible goodies, and above all, enjoy the show.