for her new upcoming series ‘afterlife’, artist luna ikuta has stripped away the color and chlorophyll of flowers to immortalize them in an aquatic garden. using california poppies, the bright orange of the petals have been replaced by a beautiful transparency, allowing viewers to marvel at the incredible cells and structures that make up the wildflower.
all images courtesy of luna ikuta
to make the flowers transparent ikuta developed a method of isolating the extracellular matrix of a tissue from its inhabiting cells. this process leaves the morphology of the plants in tact, while stripping away the hue and chlorophyll to render the plants transparent. the flowers are then submerged underwater to create a mystical, ghostly aquatic landscape inviting her beta fish to dip into a spiritual world of the ‘living’ dead.
poppy field with beta
this video is the first of her upcoming film series, ‘afterlife’, and showcases california poppies, a wildflower native to her los angeles environment. these scaffolds allow the viewer to peer into the vascular networks of the petals and stem, and the orange petals nested into the airtight buds hint to the poppy’s natural hue prior to undergoing ikuta’s clearing process.
poppy petal detail
underwater, the plants dance freely with the current as immortalized ghostly spirits interacting with the living. her new work is a feat of bio-engineering mixed with the traditional practice of aquascaping that opens a new door for how we appreciate nature’s beauty and its complex anatomical form.
air bubble detail
poppy bud detail
video courtesy of luna ikuta
the ghostly transparent california poppy
the transparent california poppy field
project name: afterlife
artist: luna ikuta
designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
edited by: lynne myers | designboom