Ichi-go Ichi-e is sponsored by The Looking Glass and was created by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen. It contains 19 stores.
Let your imagination fly you to a land where anything is possible. Walk on water among pink clouds in this surreal landscape where large Sakura flowers and other exotic flora tower over you in a beautiful dream forest of pinks and grays and fawn.
Ichi-go Ichi-e seems like the surreal shadow of YoZakura - both of them circling around that perennial representation of beauty, the cherry blossom. Ichi-go Ichi-e focuses on the cherry blossom in isolation, though, gleaming like glass and set against pale gray rushes, enormous mushrooms and a tumbling environment. Everything has a glassy quality, either translucent or milky, even the pink butterflies which flutter across view and vanish into light and sparkles. The first time I caught sight of one I almost didn't believe it - capturing them in an image proved even more challenging! The music that plays - a high flute whispering mournfully, reinforces the general mood of sweet melancholy.
The centerpiece is a single, enormous cherry tree with glowing pink flowers and jeweled fruits of meditation areas hung from it. A few of those fruits have fallen, littering the floor with gold coils as the glowing fruit melts away. Tiny faeries dot the landscape engaged in a variety of activities, from manning snack tables to settling inside of cherry blossom hearts. I was particularly struck by one fruit which had fallen but was sprouting, a cherry blossom on one end while roots dug into the ground from the other - a dedication to life even in death. Enormous, stained glass dragon flies flutter among the fallen fruit, their wings flashing in the bright light. The effect is one of life in near stasis, paused in the moment of most intense sweetness.
Other plants - enormous roses which fade from milky glass to near translucence, tall mushrooms with seamed glass hearts, delicate cattails carved out of rose quartz - sprout here and there in the landscape, all of them towering over those who visit. They rise out of a checkerboard ground, which reminds me so much of the checkerboard Alice stories; enough steps and we can all become Queens. The sense of this all sprouting up amongst ruins is reinforced by the gold and wood arches which litter the ground over the shining water, catching at the edges of leaves and pinned under rough rocks. I find myself drawn to dream of the stories that precede what I see, the hints of what remains are so evocative.
( More pictures here. )
Light Settings: TOR, MIDDAY Rebranding Skies
Water Settings: Phototools, Breakwave Building Wave / Glassy
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping