2015-2016 Luce Scholar

Studio of Kosen Ohtsubo Tokorozawa, JAPAN

For his Luce year, Christian Alborz Oldham will have the opportunity to study with Kosen Ohtsubo, Honorary Master of Ryusei-ha and Special Advisor to the Government of Japan for Cultural Exchange, at his studio in Tokorozawa, Japan. Founded in Tokyo in 1886, the Ryusei-ha school of ikebana (art of flower arrangement) has always had a bend towards more expressionist and avant-garde forms, seeking to rediscover the essential vitality of plants and express it in arrangement. Ohtsubo’s work, exhibited internationally, takes on an aesthetically defiant yet conceptually charged approach to ikebana, often raising questions of ecology and the relationship between humans and plants.

Christian Alborz Oldham was born to his Iranian mother and Iowan father in Woodland Hills, California during the Rodney King riots. In May 2015, Christian will complete a joint degree – a B.A. in Art History and an M.B.A. with an entrepreneurship focus – from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. A multidisciplinary artist, Christian incorporates temporary and permanent sculpture and installation, writing, publishing, video, still images and music in his artistic practice. Video and still image works have included commissions for popular groups Oneohtrix Point Never, Dirty Projectors, and Death Grips. In 2013 Christian received a Carson Grant to exhibit in Willamette University Hatfield Library’s Private Collection Room. He has served as creative consultant to Yale Union, a contemporary art center in Portland, Oregon since its founding in 2008. His work has been featured in art and technology publications including Rhizome, Wired, and Massage. He has also produced a series of covers for de Appel’s arts and culture journal, F.R. David, and continues to serve as web designer for Aaron Flint Jamison’s Veneer magazine. Christian has practiced Japanese language and ikebana for three years, beginning studies with America’s only Ryusei-ha instructor and exhibiting work at Portland’s Japanese Garden. Most recently, Christian has engaged German designer Bernhard Willhelm in a collaborative effort to fashion humorous wearable technology.