how do you evaluate a bonsai/penjing creation :shock:

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how do you evaluate a bonsai/penjing creation ? according to which parameters ? which are most important for you ?

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how do you evaluate a bonsai/penjing creation :shock:

Post  theBalance on Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:52 pm

hi,

I wonder, in your personal experience, how do you evaluate a creation that you see ?
what are the parameters ? dimensions ? and which are most important for you ?

ANY insights / feedback is appreciated Very Happy

theBalance
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Re: how do you evaluate a bonsai/penjing creation :shock:

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:04 pm

theBalance wrote:hi,

I wonder, in your personal experience, how do you evaluate a creation that you see ?
what are the parameters ? dimensions ? and which are most important for you ?

ANY insights / feedback is appreciated Very Happy

You have started a good thread.
We were planning to conduct a seminar/lecture here that will tackle "how judges see your tree". Which is quite the same as the idea you have in mind, we are planning to invite international judges and "masters" to do the discussion in a bonsai show.
I personally believe this will provide some insights on what some advance (bonsai) people look at things in bonsai competitions in a deeper discussion and maybe we'll have a glimpse on how they achieve better trees than most people.

My personal experienced when I am looking at trees (penjing is a different field and should be approach differently) in shows of what ever level are as follows:
There are trees that will have an immediate impact, not necessarily the big ones on the display. most of the time these eye catchers will have an instant evaluation (first base) from the viewer or judges, and behind our mind we start to form some sort of bias towards these trees.
In a competition were eliminations or choosing the top 10 or twenty trees, these eye catchers have an advantage.
Then you go to the details, most of these are approached in a technical manner. Like the nebari, trunk, branches, twigs and foliage, pots and presentations...
Then there is an overall impact, or the totality of the presentation, here sometimes the viewer/judges have some leaning towards his/her personal style or preference.
On the technical side the things we tend to evaluate in a tree are the maturity of the tree on display. Here, you would observe the trunk characters, the thickness and proportion of branches between the trunk girth and the branches to branches (ramification is very important on deciduous and tropical trees). The lesser the wire on a display tree the better. Then twigs also play some parts of portraying a matured tree. The trunk plays an important role too, It should portray the image of the design that the tree is trying to suggests, like literati, windswept, formal trees, cascading etc. Foliage (though not always the case) should be displayed in a consistent manner, like the size should be of the same range.
The artistic side of the display and how the tree were approached also plays an immediate impact on the viewer/judges, A boring tree styled in a cookie cutter would always be a boring tree, no matter how technically good it was designed.

...and many more.

In penjing the approach is not quite the same.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: how do you evaluate a bonsai/penjing creation :shock:

Post  theBalance on Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:20 pm

hi Jun,

10x so much to start this Smile
your answer contains a lot of knowledge...
in your answer you basically spoke about 3 "categories" :
1 = the qualities of the trees
2 = the "technical" work of the artist, break down to the elements : trunk, nebari, twigs,...
3 = the "overall" impression

regarding "1" - this is a given ( the better raw material, the better the outcome )
regarding "2" - it is mostly technical stuff - that is very IMPORTANT, but it is relatively easy to learn
regarding "3" - this is the MYSTERY that is most interesting to me : understanding the things beyond the technical : the harmony, the story, originality and so on...that for me are the MAGIC that allows a GOOD artist to transform even an average RAW material into a master piece

P.s
regarding Penjing - would you like to start a new thread about it - it is very interesting to discuss this also

theBalance
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Re: how do you evaluate a bonsai/penjing creation :shock:

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:45 pm

theBalance wrote:hi Jun,

10x so much to start this Smile
your answer contains a lot of knowledge...
in your answer you basically spoke about 3 "categories" :
1 = the qualities of the trees
2 = the "technical" work of the artist, break down to the elements : trunk, nebari, twigs,...
3 = the "overall" impression

regarding "1" - this is a given ( the better raw material, the better the outcome )
regarding "2" - it is mostly technical stuff - that is very IMPORTANT, but it is relatively easy to learn
regarding "3" - this is the MYSTERY that is most interesting to me : understanding the things beyond the technical : the harmony, the story, originality and so on...that for me are the MAGIC that allows a GOOD artist to transform even an average RAW material into a master piece

P.s
regarding Penjing - would you like to start a new thread about it - it is very interesting to discuss this also

You are welcome.

About the "Better raw material, the better the outcome" this is not always true. IMHO the better the interpretation of the raw material and how it was approached by "artist" the better it will translate into bonsai. This is our common mistake, we tend to forced our will on the raw materials because of our previous biased knowledge on what a bonsai should look like based on books and other visual mediums we used on studying bonsai.

The technical stuff as what we can easily learn is right. but transfering that knowledge we acquired into the "art" of bonsai varies from person to person, and this is the part that is true but difficult to swallow...not all people got it. but this should not hinder most of us from dwelling into the hobby, Have fun and don't expect much is the key to bonsai happiness ,IMHO.

we can do the penjing here too.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: how do you evaluate a bonsai/penjing creation :shock:

Post  theBalance on Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

so let's talk about penjing...

how do you evaluate a Penjing creation ?

theBalance
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Re: how do you evaluate a bonsai/penjing creation :shock:

Post  JimLewis on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:23 pm

so let's talk about penjing...

I thought we were. Anyway, "harmony" has to be first. THEN we deal with "naturalness" or a story.

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Re: how do you evaluate a bonsai/penjing creation :shock:

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