I first learned the word, ma in The Japanese Mind, edited by Davies, Roger and Ikeno, Osamu. There, it is defined as “an empty space full of meaning”, which is fundamental to the Japanese arts and present in many fields of artistic endeavor (p38 Kindle version).
The hidden meaning is sought as one holds the floral materials when making an Ikebana arrangement.
The “more” is just that: initially unseen meaning apparent from employing minimalism and ma in our designs. Just as one reads “between the lines” in a text, one can experience meaning in the unoccupied space of a minimalist arrangement.
(I shared these concepts at a recent demonstration and workshop for Ikebana International #41.We used only orchids for the floral material to illustrate the variety in one compelling plant type. Attendees brought their own newly purchased orchid plant and cut the blooms (with much anguish) to use in their arrangements.That event informs the theme of this blog post.)