A Brave Bonsai Goes Where No Plant Has Gone Before
Azuma Makoto and JP Aerospace sent bonsai and bouquets into the stratosphere. Here's how they did it.
BONSAI #1270 Altitude : 6620m Temperature : -11.2°C. Images via
Artist Azuma Makota launched a bouquet of over thirty different flowers and a miniature bonsai tree over 90,000 feet into the stratosphere this past summer, using a special, camera-equipped balloon. In the newly released short documentary above, Makota and JP Aerospace capture the process of creating Exobiotanica, from "freeing" the plant from the ground, through sending it into the sky, and welcoming it back again.
With the recent comet landing and buzz about the possibility—or the impossibility—of interstellar space travel, the flowers are a perfect poetic metaphor for the beauty of venturing beyond our place on Earth. We recall Michael Caine in Interstellar, when he quotes poet Dylan Thomas: "Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Gaze at the Earth from the point of view of skyborne plantlife in this gallery. Below, more images from Exobiotanica: