Kirk Cheng’s Floral Dioramas Show the Romance of Growth and Decay

by Nick PizanaPosted on

Throughout time, flowers have stood as symbols of beauty. Their vibrant color and pleasant aroma has made them integral parts of rituals around the world. To see them as bouquets and arrangements in the background is common in many cultures. Floral artist Kirk Cheng pays tribute to flowers by making attention grabbing displays, which take beauty that is normally glanced over and push it to the center of attention. Cheng creates wall gardens of seasonal plants, drawing the symbolism found in the plant’s color or species. Behind the glass of sleek dioramas, they look like perfectly preserved specimens from some other dreamy world. Like any other floral arrangement, the flowers in Cheng’s work eventually die, but this cycle is something he embraces with his exhibition “Circle of Life,” at Above Second in Hong Kong. Due to the temporal nature of the works, the pieces morph over time as the flowers and plants begin to wither and rot. The whole process is captured on a timelapse video. Cheng’s hope is that the visitors are able to take a moment from their busy lives and leave with an everlasting moment. He says, “The process as it dies and dries up is actually how we understand beauty; there is a kind of romance in it.”

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