LES RAISONS DES FLEURS
"We age not by years, but by stories" is a profound truth that resonates deeply in "Les Raisons des Fleurs." This remarkable project takes us on a journey to the serene landscapes of Chongming Island in China, where the very essence of agrarian life and forest cultivation is interwoven with the daily existence of its aging inhabitants. Here, a poignant reality unfolds, as we discover that the average age of the island's residents is well over 70. These individuals often lead solitary lives, having rarely left the island throughout their existence. Tragically, they seldom, if ever, received a single flower in their lifetime, with this poignant gesture usually occurring only posthumously at their graves.
"Les Raisons des Fleurs" transcends the simple act of gifting flowers; it is a celebration of communities, life itself, and the cherished moments we share together. These elderly islanders, who have led lives of quiet simplicity untouched by the allure of modern technology or the distractions of the digital world, offer a unique perspective. They are individuals who have rarely ventured far from home, their modest abodes devoid of wedding pictures or digital screens chronicling memories. Yet, their existence centers on life itself, embracing each moment, savoring the unexpected gifts it brings.
This extraordinary project serves as a bridge between generations, cultures, and philosophies, harmonizing with the traditional Chinese belief that the simplest things in life are often the most profound. Just as a single bouquet of flowers, with its innate beauty and fragrance, possesses the power to uplift the soul, "Les Raisons des Fleurs" seeks to unite hearts and minds through the universal language of flowers. It honors the enduring Chinese philosophy that the most important aspects of life are the purest and most authentic, encapsulated within the petals of a flower.
The act of gifting flowers and the process of receiving them into their homes, allowing them to enter personal space, lives, and life stories, becomes a profoundly rewarding and wisdom-filled process. Nature becomes the shared vocabulary, the language through which experiences are conveyed, reordering values and offering a fresh perspective on the essential elements of life: community, the unhurried pace of existence, our connection with nature, and with one another.
In extending the tradition of flower gifting from Chongming Island to the broader Chinese community, "Les Raisons des Fleurs" aims to inspire a shared belief in the power of nature, community, and the profound beauty of life, encapsulated in the petals of every flower offered with love and respect.