Harijanto Setiawan, a main-stage presenter at the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) National Symposium, “Awaken,” in Las Vegas, Nev., July 6-11, 2019, is a professional architect who creates what he calls “living sculptures.” As a leading young trend-setting, boundary-pushing floral designer, he is the founder and principal floral designer of Boenga Pte. Ltd., (Indonesian for flower) in Singapore, which specializes in creating extraordinary floral experiences for theme events and weddings. His floral creations marry form, rhythm, movement, color and texture with the tactile qualities of exotic florals and foliage.
Where do you look outside the floral industry for inspiration?
I am always fascinated with architecture and fashion. These two are sources of unlimited inspiration. Architecture gives me the macro idea of how something can be built, and it reveals to me the proportion, space, rhythm, composition, aesthetic and the functional aspects. Fashion gives me the micro touch of how to combine the colors and finishing details that can be applied to floristry.
Describe your passion and love for flowers and floral design.
I believe that flowers are in my soul. Working with flowers gives me a priceless lesson on how to be patient, how to be understanding and cherishing the beauty of God’s creation.
Creating a new floral design is a fascination of mine, and it makes my brain active all the time. I love the process of how it develops, the story behind the design and how it materializes. Sometimes they don’t turn out the way I want, but I have an eye-opening experience that allows me to see the possibilities of how to do something diﬀerent.
How have you and your creative mind evolved over the years?
I am always humbled to witness the changes of the floral industry: the demands, the trends and the customers’ preferences. I have enjoyed experiencing being a minimalist to maximalist, focusing on functionality to decorative.
I have my signature materials, styles and methods I use, but I also explore using them in a deeper connotation. Overall, the biggest evolution in my floral life is the balance between floral art and commercial floristry. It is the commercial floral aspect that fnancially supports the possibilities of doing floral art. It is beautiful when the floral art has commercial value.