This weekend – in the no-go hours before 8 am – we woke to people shouting in the street. They weren’t staggering home from an all-nighter or chasing down a runaway doberman. These beautifully dressed interlopers were arguing about which cherry blossom tree would be best for their family photo. This one. No, this one.
Such is the blossom madness in Vancouver that artist Lele Chan has created an instagram account devoted to the crazed things we Vancouverites will do to get the perfect picture of our loved ones frolicking amidst the cherry blossoms.
In looking out of her living room window, Chan has captured strangers leaping, twirling, standing in cars, on cars, lying face down, head down, usually in the middle of the road. Some come in formal wear – wedding gowns, kimonos, faux fur boleros. Others prefer a costume – dinosaur, Sailor Moon, Alice in Wonder-tea party, string bikini. A few drag over props – rowing machines, skis, the lone red umbrella, crates of plastic flamingoes.
Now that we’re awake – and given that it is Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival until April 29th – here are some painters who have been wooed by blossoms, cherry and otherwise, over the years.
A Contest of Beauties among the Cherry Blossoms. Hashimoto Chikanobu. 1887~
Cherry Blossom Viewing. Chikanobu. 1894.
Blossoming Almond Branch in a Glass. Van Gogh. 1888
Almond Blossoms. Van Gogh. 1890
Bullfinch on a Weeping Cherry. Hokusai. 1840
Flowers. Andy Warhol. 1970.
Spring Bouquet. Renoir. 1866
Written by Elizabeth Newton
Margaretha Roosenboom. Still life with blossom.