Of cherry blossoms and creativity

Every artist dreams of their works of art being a sell out.

Wood turner Neils Neilson couldn’t believe his ears when he was told that the kauri table and chairs he had created for the exhibition A Moment in Time by the Palette Artists to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple was sold out even before the exhibit was officially opened to the public.

Apart from the baby blessing ceremony, the tea meditation and the Prince and Princess pageant, the Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday in Flat Bush was a true celebration of creativity, diversity and cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Four art exhibitions were simultaneously held at four different galleries at the temple.

Exhibiting at the Art Salon alongside 15 other artists working with a variety of media, Rudy Heymen, a photographer specialising in Zen-like landscapes and architectural photography, said that for years he travelled regularly to Kyoto, Japan, to photograph the Buddhist temples, till his house got burgled and all the images disappeared.

Ten years ago, he spotted the Buddhist temple and asked the Venerable Abbess Manshin if he could photograph the temple. Ever since, he has shot thousands of pictures, some of which were on sale.

Nel Dimitri van Amsterdam, an 82-year-old artist who still enjoys taking classes in drawing, water colour and acrylics, had a red sold out dot on her Buddha painting.

“I kept asking myself, have I really done this beautiful painting,” she said. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to sell it.”

Also spotted admiring the work of wood turner Bryan Peryer, textile designer Nicola May and glass artist Samantha Minnery, amongst other artists—were Ian Morrison, principal Mission Heights Junior College, Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross and Howick Local Board member Adele White.