For centuries, Bonsai has been a celebrated art form in Japanese culture involving meditative manicuring, long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container. While the art is still widely in practice, the general art form hasn’t changed much—until now.

Water and Bonsai

YouTube video

In contrast to a ‘dry’ bonsai, designer Azuma Makoto’s Water and Bonsai is merely just an illusion that flows in crystal-clear water. The underwater tree is actually submerged deadwood (Sabina Chinesis) wrapped in a common freshwater aquarium moss (Java Moss). Ultimately, the underwater bonsai is a well-executed aquarium fixture that gives off the illusion of something else entirely.



“My initial idea was to express traditional Japanese bonsai in a contemporary approach. As you may know, elaborate forms of bonsai can’t possibly be achieved overnight…Time is graven on bonsai, its scenery and mood–by placing those elements in water, I wanted to visualize its speed at an accelerated pace, and to create a new expression with plants.”

-Designer Azuma Makoto




While the


via Fast Co Design


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.