Dezeen Magazine

suspended banners in atrium with palm trees

Miya Ando's cloth calendar shows micro seasons lost to climate change

Artist Miya Ando has created an installation in New York City that uses 72 cloth banners to draw attention to the shift in traditional Japanese seasons created by climate change.

Titled Flower Atlas, the banners hang in New York City's Brookfield Place mall and depict an ancient Japanese calendar through unique floral motifs.

Suspended banners by Miya Ando in Brookfield Place mall
Miya Ando created an art installation of large-scale cloth banners

Each of the large-scale banners represents one of the 72 seasons in the Japanese Kō calendar, which was initially developed in the 7th century.

In contrast to the standard Western calendar, it responds more closely to the natural environment by breaking the 365-day year into seasons of around five days each.

The banners each depict a flower that blooms just one day a year during these "micro seasons".

Flower Atlas installation by Maya Ando
Each banner represents a "micro season" of an ancient Japanese calendar

"I was interested in creating an environment of walking through a calendar," said Ando.

"I imagined a skygarden, based on the ancient 24 and 72 seasons calendars wherein coloured petals represented flowers as days and one would be transported into an alternative, nature-based system of time."

Close up of cloth banners in Brookfield Place mall
The banners are made of chiffon printed with a variety of materials

Due to "human impact on climate" the Kō calendar no longer aligns with the seasons of today, explained the artist.

Ando explored this shift by proposing Flower Atlas as an alternative time-keeping record.

"It shows a yearning to have a harmonious relationship to nature," said Ando.

Suspended within a glass atrium, the banners were made of chiffon printed with ink, micronized silver, gold, mica, oil, or resin and hung on clear acrylic rods.

cloth banners hang in the lobby of a glass atrium
Flower Atlas is meant to explore a time-keeping record more harmonious with nature

Measuring 58 x 49 x 182 feet, Flower Atlas spans the length of the Winter Garden in Brookfield Place and is meant to inspire conversation about "art and climate change".

Other climate-focused artworks include a regenerative arch in Houston, Texas and an installation of 3D-scanned Kenyan caves in a Denmark museum.

The photography is by Fadi Kheir.

Flower Atlas is on display at Brookfield Place until September 14. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.