Golden Chrysanthemum, Buenos Aires, summer 2016. Painting, Oil on canvas. Size: Diptych 80 W x 150 H cm. © 2016 Florencia San Martin Brück/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Chrysanthemums are said to have first come from China although they are more often associated with Japan. According to an ancient Chinese legend, about 3,000 years ago, an emperor was told that the Dragon-fly Island in the Sunrise Sea (Japan) had a magic herb that would restore his youth. But since only youth could collect it, he sent a dozen young men and a dozen girls to the island.
They arrived at the islands after surviving perilous storms and attacks by sea serpents, and finding neither magic herb nor inhabitants on the island, they decided to stay. The prized possession they brought for trading, and now nurtured as a tie with their homeland, was the golden chrysanthemum.