IN TOKYO: BONSAI TREE HANGING IN SPACE MAKES US QUESTION EVERYTHING

It’s an amusing conceit. In the high-ceilinged foyer of the Barney’s store in Roppongi, Tokyo, an unpotted Japanese bonsai tree hangs in space, framed by a steel cube, suspended like an organic chandelier, the tree roots naked and dangling in air. The tree being de-planted and without soil all but assures its eventual death. Amid the beautifully presented selections of expensive fashion merch in the forms of Gucci, Lagerfeld, Commes des Garcons, Yoshi Yojimoto Y-3, Raf Simons, etc., hangs an symbol of iconic Japanese botanical traditions. The suspended bonsai is a bauble serving up a knowing, artsy cultural wink, serving as decor for the theater of luxury consumerism. It’s alluring and remarkable as an objet and as part of the stores aesthetic, but feels like an insult to nature.