Is old tradition poor taste

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:52 pm

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:
marcus watts wrote:yes Jun...........well put,

you can enter a show to try and win the judges prizes.............i think the very best shows have a prize voted as the "peoples favorite" and this is the tree most normal viewers like the most - if ever i win a prize i hope to win this one as it is the only real one voted on mass by normal people, so will be the most pleasing tree to look at.

marcus

Interesting, and nice said....

I would like it very much, if photos of many " peoples favorite" trees will be posted here, please let us see what people like...

Kind regards Yvonne


Any body else?

..It's hard to believe only two guys shows people's favorite trees. Razz Razz ...or were not discouraged by the other theories.


regards,
jun Very Happy

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:27 pm

Hi Jun

Not only two guys, also a girl ....

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  fiona on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:17 pm

I think it more likely that people have not got pictures of the "people's favourite" tree at shows they've been to. I know I haven't. That in itself might just speak volumes.

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  JMcCoy on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:28 pm

Here was the People's Choice at the LSBF Dallas convention this year, a Buttonwood. It also took the Best Tropical category.


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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  coh on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:30 pm

I haven't been to any bonsai shows that have "people's choice" awards. Our local group has a "member's choice" award. I'll have to see if I have a photo of the most recent winner. What was interesting is that about 10 different trees received votes, many of them multiple votes. The tree I voted for was not the winner...

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Guest on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:35 pm

We have now in this topic seen 3 examples who was able to take both the judges, and the peoples choice price.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  fiona on Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:11 pm

Do you mean "prize", Yvonne? Price is a whole other ball game and a very interesting topic might be what all these prize-winning trees are subsequently sold for (if their owners indeed do sell them) just because they can boast that they won the such and such award. I wonder if we'd ever know the extent of that but I have been told that in the past winning a Ginkgo award could easily add a few thousand euros to the "value" of the tree.

I am away to find the pic I have of the tray of sycamore seedlings that won a people's choice award at a major UK flower show bonsai section.


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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  marcus watts on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:14 pm

fiona wrote:Do you mean "prize", Yvonne? Price is a whole other ball game and a very interesting topic might be what all these prize-winning trees are subsequently sold for (if their owners indeed do sell them) just because they can boast that they won the such and such award. I wonder if we'd ever know the extent of that but I have been told that in the past winning a Ginkgo award could easily add a few thousand euros to the "value" of the tree.

I am away to find the pic I have of the tray of sycamore seedlings that won a people's choice award at a major UK flower show bonsai section.


it is prize fiona, you know that Evil or Very Mad

putting a tree into a show to add value and then sell it for more money is a nice idea, but these days money is very tight and the tree value is the same if it is a show winner or not - certainly outside Japan anyway, a SELLER who thinks a show win adds value will be disillusioned when they dream up the asking price. I know a few ginkgo/noelanders attendant trees with price tags way too high, but they still go unsold after many years..... yes, you are right about inflated asking price, i think roughly 50% is a fair price for the ones i've seen, but probably less as they have had their moment already.

hahahaha - the history of the sycamore seedlings rises again. i think you will be kicking your self for ever more that you didnt take a better tree to the show that day???? funny thing is those seedlings made a big impression on you !! "i must do better, i will do better", a good thing ? Laughing

I avoided saying earlier that the bonsai community is globally very small, the professional teachers, writers and sellers are even fewer, this small number will often make up some (or all) of the judges. They are very often confronted by trees they sold, styled, helped style or trees belonging to owners they taught.............I know of one instance where the judge declared he could not vote in the catagory because of this, but we all see the most expensive tree often win the prize even if it was just bought, or the judges pupil may win ..........so partly this is why i say the attendants vote is true, honest and if naive so what?

cheers all,

Marcus


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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  fiona on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:58 pm

marcus watts wrote: it is prize fiona, you know that Evil or Very Mad
Just joshing.
marcus watts wrote: so partly this is why i say the attendants vote is true, honest and if naive so what?
Fair point.

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:12 am

Good point Marcus! very good point. remember in my other post/reply in this topic, I said contests can be rigged. Selling of the winning trees are one of the reasons and I saw it in my very own eyes or maybe other trees belonging to the frequent winners would increase its price even the particular trees are non winning trees. a judge favored a winning tree belong to him or to his close friend, then the price shoots up to more than double...some even change the height category because the winning (best in show) tree that belongs to a non-associate of the judge would easily win. Corruption, is really everywhere,,,

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:13 am

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Jun

Not only two guys, also a girl ....

Kind regards Yvonne


TWO GUYS AND A GIRL....I stand corrected.

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Walter Pall on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:37 am

Pattern Recognition in Judging Bonsai, or How Bonsai Taste Evolves

by Walter Pall

(This article is also published in Art of Bonsai Project under 'eristic')

Can you tell the difference between a conifer and a broadleaved tree just from looking at an image? Sure you can, any child can do this. Can you tell the difference even when the conifer grows much like a broadleaved tree would normally and the broadleaved tee grows like a conifer? Sure you could. You see this in a split second looking at an image.

OK, now explain how exactly you made the decision. Some will succeed in giving a good explanation, some will come back wit a poor explanation and some will not bother. But all will take quite a while to articulate something that they have 'known' in a split-second.

Even though our brain knows how to do this classification, our conscious mind is often incapable of articulating the rules. Our brain is exceptionally good at this type of task. We are amazing pattern recognition machines.

Our brain has evolved to do exactly this with great accuracy. If we have a set of objects we can form internal rules by which we classify them. When you learned how to read you were shown many examples of the letter 'a'. you have learned to see the letter 'a' whether it's hand written or printed. You can tell the letter 'a' immediately even if written in bad hand writing or printed in unusual script. You can do this even when you never had seen this handwriting or this script before. But you would be hard pressed to explain every time how you came to your conclusion.

You are very good in deciding instantly that a letter is NOT 'a'. So there must be some mechanism that enables you to do this to read texts at an enormous speed.

Recognition of abstract things is even more complex. You learn early what is good and what is bad behavior. You are given many examples in your childhood. As you grow to an adult your brain catalogs all examples of good and bad acts and at one point discovers rules of how to decide. When you get to a new situation in life that you never were in before you can instantly apply these rules. So we all have internal rules, but they differ slightly depending on how they developed. Thus we have slightly different notions about morals. These differences become striking when we meet a person who grew up in an entirely different culture and who apparently applies radically different rules for the distinction between 'good' and 'bad'.

So what has all this to do with bonsai taste? Well, exactly the same happens when we learn to appreciate bonsai. We learn that a tree that follows the bonsai rules which are written in stone it is good. When it breaks one of these rules it becomes bad. We learn that trees designed by Naka, Kimura, any great Japanese master are good. We are not content with just being told. We learn to search images of trees for patterns. We learned to see 'good' application of rules and 'bad' application. We learn to see the similarities in trees which are 'good' and we somehow create our own internal rules of how to decide. We can then judge a tree which we have never seen before. We can tell right away whether we have a piece of raw material or a masterpiece in front of us. We are not equally good at this. Some can get very far in this and become experts in judging bonsai. Mind you there was no word about CREATING bonsai here. It is all about judging from seeing. In this concept a person can be an expert judge for bonsai without ever having touched a tree.

The question now is, to what extent are we truly judging the merit of the bonsai, and to what extent are we just using our pattern-recognition skills.

Yes, some bonsai have the ability to move us emotional, to convey a message, to make us feel their 'soul'. But can we be sure that this response isn't simply a learned reaction? Appreciating a bonsai takes training. It is generally not the case that someone who has no training can appreciate and distinguish 'good' from 'bad' bonsai easily. Is it not possible that what we call artistic training is essentially training for pattern classification?

One step further now. I have trained myself to appreciate contemporary bonsai by experiencing it a lot, and if my brain is good at that sort of thing, then I'll form rules for discovering what I was told was 'good' bonsai and distinguishing it form the 'bad'. When I visit an exhibit and see the work of a new artist, I will apply my rules of 'good' and 'bad' bonsai and make my judgment on whether this artist is any good. Since most of us were trained by the same books and by similar examples of 'good' and 'bad' bonsai, our opinions will often be similar to other bonsaist, and the new artist will be branded accordingly.

At the same token this applies to bonsai designers. If I decide to become a bonsai master, I will judge my own work by the same abstract rules of 'good' and 'bad' and produce bonsai that pass my own criteria for judgment. Therefore, once it is established that some works are examples of good art, it almost guarantees that the pattern will be perpetuated by future artist and critics. This goes so far that a considerable number of bonsai connoisseurs and artists believe that there is only one way to do it 'right'. There is a strong tendency for fundamentalism; it is inherent in the system of how bonsai taste evolves.

Now in appreciating bonsai there is, of course, more than just pattern recognition here, but is there any way for us to ever separate the two? Normally there is no observer here from outside of the system, and we can never know to what extent our preferences are biased by the pattern-recognition training we have received in the past. But you remember the example of above when we 'knew' exactly what was morally good or bad and all of a sudden a person from another culture had a very different moral code. The question is whether we even listen to someone who comes from another bonsai culture. If we listen, do we understand what he is saying? Probably not really, and probably we want to stay in our cozy well established and defined bonsai world rather than constantly question what we are thinking. And we don't realize that what we think are 'natural' rules just evolved accidentally and became a generally accepted code. But by sheer coincidence it could have become a very different code.

Can we not bring into a bonsai exhibit a person from the street who was never exposed to any bonsai or theory about them. Well, we can, but what do we expect? The person will make some judgments and will give some explanation, but they will not really tell us much more than that we have someone with a very naive taste and no background in front of us. Art form is also a language in itself, and without training and exposure one cannot learn how to read that language.

The story is told about a person approaching Picasso and told him 'Mr. Picasso, I don't understand your art'. Picasso replied, 'do you know Chinese?'. 'No'. 'but Chinese can be learned.'

How will we ever know the true difference between elitism perpetuated through pattern recognition and the intrinsic value of a bonsai?

Adapted from: "Art and Elitism: A Form of Pattern Recognition" by

Kunal Sen, 2007, Encyclopedia Britannica blog

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Robert Steven on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:53 am

Good explaination Walter, this is just what I believe.
Unfortunately, many are those "will not bother"..or ignorant, then use "personal taste" as excuse for his/her value code.

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:21 am

Hi Walter

This is taking it al back to the core, very basic....The rest is taste and personality, witch makes us the humans we are....Thanks for the lesson.....Wonder what a 5 year international brake from giving prizes in exhibitions would do to people. Smile

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Guest on Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:23 am

Walter Pall wrote:Pattern Recognition in Judging Bonsai, or How Bonsai Taste Evolves

by Walter Pall





Yes, some bonsai have the ability to move us emotional, to convey a message, to make us feel their 'soul'. But can we be sure that this response isn't simply a learned reaction? Appreciating a bonsai takes training. It is generally not the case that someone who has no training can appreciate and distinguish 'good' from 'bad' bonsai easily. Is it not possible that what we call artistic training is essentially training for pattern classification?


Now in appreciating bonsai there is, of course, more than just pattern recognition here, but is there any way for us to ever separate the two? Normally there is no observer here from outside of the system, and we can never know to what extent our preferences are biased by the pattern-recognition training we have received in the past. But you remember the example of above when we 'knew' exactly what was morally good or bad and all of a sudden a person from another culture had a very different moral code. The question is whether we even listen to someone who comes from another bonsai culture. If we listen, do we understand what he is saying? Probably not really, and probably we want to stay in our cozy well established and defined bonsai world rather than constantly question what we are thinking. And we don't realize that what we think are 'natural' rules just evolved accidentally and became a generally accepted code. But by sheer coincidence it could have become a very different code.

Can we not bring into a bonsai exhibit a person from the street who was never exposed to any bonsai or theory about them. Well, we can, but what do we expect? The person will make some judgments and will give some explanation, but they will not really tell us much more than that we have someone with a very naive taste and no background in front of us. Art form is also a language in itself, and without training and exposure one cannot learn how to read that language.

The story is told about a person approaching Picasso and told him 'Mr. Picasso, I don't understand your art'. Picasso replied, 'do you know Chinese?'. 'No'. 'but Chinese can be learned.'

How will we ever know the true difference between elitism perpetuated through pattern recognition and the intrinsic value of a bonsai?

Adapted from: "Art and Elitism: A Form of Pattern Recognition" by

Kunal Sen, 2007, Encyclopedia Britannica blog


Very scientific and valid explanation Walter. Thanks!

...I got a question though, what is the purpose of bringing bonsais in art exhibitions or in a non traditional bonsai show like the one you did at the BMW HQ?. I am sure majority of the 10,000 visitors per day in that 4 month exhibitions were not into bonsai. but yet, your trees were exhibited there as an artform to be viewed by the regular non bonsai visitors.
Don't get me wrong please, I like your works and the way you do things differently compared to the traditional way. but my point in raising your non traditional exhibit as an example is to prove that when bonsai is done in an artistic fashion, like any other artform it can be appreciated by non bonsai people, because I think even the people from the street can appreciate a good art when they see one. and probably this is the same reason that the organizer from the BMW had in mind (just probably).

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

Post  Sakaki on Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:05 am

marcus wrote:
.........so partly this is why i say the attendants vote is true, honest and if naive so what?

Marcus, I agree with you about fossilized judgment criteria, however how can we sure that each of the attendants have adequate knowledge about bonsai or art or even horticulture?
My mother likes bonsai, but the best bonsai for her is the one which has many nice small flowers Very Happy
As Walter said: we may not know Chinese, and we can learn it, however we still need to learn our native language first.
My mother does not know Chinese, and I believe she cannot vote who is speaking Chinese in a best way Very Happy

Taner

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Re: Is old tradition poor taste

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