The Flower Tree – Lyon, France - Atlas Obscura

The Flower Tree

A colorful piece of contemporary art cheerfully clashes with Lyon's historical architecture. 


First created in 2003, the massive bouquet known as the Flower Tree may not seem to fit the tenor of the historic French city of Lyon, but that didn’t stop it from being permanently rooted in place. 

The overgrown technicolor plant was the work of Korean artist Jeong-Hwa Choi. Choi created the piece to take part in the 7th biennial festival of Contemporary Art in Lyon. The colossal work consists of 85 individual plastic flowers, each as large as a car door, grouped together as though grown like a tree. The effect is that of a rainbow dome of whimsical flora. While such a display fits right in at a modern art festival, it stands out like a sore thumb against traditionalist medieval buildings and gothic churches, so when it was moved permanently to one of Europe’s largest historic squares, many folks raised any eyebrow. However the Flower Tree has remained and whether you feel as though its a modernist eyesore or a welcome splash of color in an otherwise drab town, it does not seem to be going anywhere soon.  

Know Before You Go

The tree is located on the east side of Place Antonin Poncet.

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