Exobiotanica: An Artist’s Rendering of Botanical Space Flight

My following article below was originally published by SERIOUS WONDER:


Humans and non-human animals alike have crossed the boundaries of Earth’s atmosphere, penetrating into the vastness of open space. With the help of astronauts and automated rockets, we’ve even launched food and crops. For Japanese artist Azuma Makoto, however, more is still to be done. And with that comes his latest piece, the Exobiotanica – botanical space flight!

With the help of an entire crew of art directors, space engineers, etc. Azuma Makoto’s Exobiotanica art project set out to achieve two goals: to produce flight into space for both a bonsai tree and a bouquet of flowers.

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The Exobiotanica art piece is unique because of its actors and because of its setting. The sheer thought of sending trees into space is, in its truest definition, awesome! Azuma Makoto is known prominently for his artistic botanical expressions. With each previous work, they were merely Earthbound. With the Exobiotanica, however, Makoto’s artistic expression has now transcended the gravitational weight of Earth’s gaseous atmosphere and touched the low-gravity vacuum known as space.

“Plants on the earth rooted in the soil, under the command of gravity. Roots, soil and gravity – by giving up the links to life, what kind of “beauty” shall be born? Within the harsh “nature”, at an attitude [sic] of 30,000 meters and minus 50 degrees Celsius, the plants evolve into EXBIOTA (extraterrestrial life). A pine tree confronting the ridge line of the Earth. A bouquet of flowers marching towards the sun hit by the intense wind. Freed from everything, the plants shall head to the space.”

– Azuma Makoto

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For more pictures of Azuma Makoto’s “Exobiotanica” art piece, be sure to check out his website here!

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