By freezing beautiful and colorful flowers into large blocks of ice, Japanese artist Kenji Shibata has created a subject for his photos that is both strikingly beautiful and poignantly symbolic. His “Locked in the Ether” photo series features flowers literally frozen in time, cut down and preserved in ice to both save and destroy their beauty.

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The ice keeping Shibata’s flowers captive gives them the appearance of a watercolor painting. Some, however, have started thawing out of the ice, creating a contrast between the frozen beauties within and the rapidly wilting dead flowers outside of the ice.

Shibata’s extraordinary sensitivity and sense for composition translates to the rest of his work as well, so be sure to check out his website!

More info: (h/t: spoon-tamago)