spring/summer display

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spring/summer display

Post  dick benbow on Thu May 16, 2013 3:19 pm

Inspired by stoner's efforts and awards, I had to come up with something to keep me learning.

Tho Spring is hardly settled in all parts of the states, looking ahead to summer is a stabilizing anticipation.
Here the main scroll shows Koi under the ageless pine. The bonsai is a alpine willow,
full of fresh new leaves. The male mallard is awaiting news from his nesting bride about the anticipated hatchlings.
The blue base of the toko enhances the sense of water, an important component of life. If you remember from other posts originally the base was a maroon color.

Always appreciate your comments Smile

dick benbow
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Re: spring/summer display

Post  dick benbow on Fri May 17, 2013 3:41 pm

In another chatline this display was soundly trashed. While here we have hundreds of views but no comments. I'm thinking maybe here folks are Too kind. Smile

I think of all the japanese hobbies I've spent time with learning, this is the most difficult one to get good information on, tho I've really tried.

When I do display with suiseki, those who have a rock interest, always feel that the stone should be the main
dominant interest. I understand that. In Bonsai the same is true with the tree. makes sense. I don't find that there are scroll people, so between the tree and stones, scrolls if dominant should be by themselves. I'm struggling to grasp that. I brought the alpine willow back from death and really like it. The mallard duck has an interesting story as well. To me, I enjoyed the combination. maybe i should just do the display thing for my own amusement.
BUT, that goes against everything I've learned in my other japanese hobbies and that is learn the japanese rules of the road, so when you deter off the well traveled way, you know it and know why you must go that way.

With koi, suiseki, mums, ikebana, there are mirades of books and hobby clubs and private teachers. but with display, I'm find it not to be that way. Anyone else out there feeling the same or having some suggestions.

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Re: spring/summer display

Post  JimLewis on Fri May 17, 2013 3:45 pm

Friendly trash talk:

1. The tree itself is a mess; NRFD (Not Ready For Display)
2. The scroll totally overwhelms the display.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: spring/summer display

Post  dick benbow on Fri May 17, 2013 4:05 pm

thanks JIM Smile

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Re: spring/summer display

Post  dick benbow on Fri May 17, 2013 4:40 pm

here's what an international prominent bonsai teacher had to say about it.

" I like the koi and duck so well that I could see having a very nice display with just those two items."





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Re: spring/summer display

Post  gman on Fri May 17, 2013 5:37 pm

Hi Dick,
I have no experience or knowledge in traditional display....so my thoughts are probably useless Very Happy
I think Jim has a good point though about the scale of the scroll and how it overpowers the total image, I also think that the stand/willow needs to be to the right more (more distance between it and the scroll) and closer to the front to add some depth.....and perhaps a small stand for the Mallard...... but again what do I know. Embarassed
Cheers Graham

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Re: spring/summer display

Post  sunip on Fri May 17, 2013 10:10 pm

Hello Dick.
Your displays are informal and personal set ups in your house,
do you want them to answer the guidelines ----
or do you feel they could be different more refined, is something missing?
One advise could be, look at Japanese displays and try to see the differences with your displays,
Then guidelines become in perspective.
Sunip Wink

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Re: spring/summer display

Post  dick benbow on Sat May 18, 2013 1:52 am

Graham, atleast you know what you Like, thanks for posting.

Sunip, I always appreciate no matter where i travel to the threads i'm interested in, there you are always contributing.

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spring/summer display

Post  Bob Bailey on Sat May 18, 2013 8:27 pm

Hi Jim

A little friendly criticism and advice I hope.
The scroll and the duck are far too big for the display, the stand on which the tree stands is also too big and the tree is no where near good enough to display yet how ever it is dear to you. Also the stand and the jiita are in a straight line giving no depth at all, not good.
When setting up a Tokonoma or 3 point display my Master Natsuo Kobiashi taught me that the scroll should be the focal point of the display and with one or two exceptions should always be in the centre of the display and you then work off of it. When setting up the display always work on the principle of * The Golden Triangle* which roughly speaking is you set up the display as a scalene triangle both vertical and horizontal, this will give the display both depth and balance. With your choice of scroll, try and be a little more subtle so people will look and THINK at your display and then work out theirselves what you are trying to say.
Diplay is very difficult and very few of us can get it right all the time, but if you follow certain basic rules your diplays will soon improve.
Two books you should read are Majesty In Miniature by Morten Albek and Bonsai kusamono-Suiseki by the late Willi Benz. I call these two books my bibles and always consult them before I put on any displays at exhibitions. Hope I haven,t been too critical and hope the advice will help

Cheers Bob

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spring/summer display

Post  Bob Bailey on Sat May 18, 2013 8:36 pm


Sorry Dick,I called you Jim in my previous post !!!!

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Re: spring/summer display

Post  nekotoban on Sat May 18, 2013 11:44 pm

Hi Dick,

I enjoy your display and really like the mallard and blue base combination/story despite my traditional taste.

However, there are an ill-matched thing I felt strange from the display. I couldn't feel wabisabi because there are
so many colours that makes the display too talkative.

Personally I don't care about not-ready-for-display alpine willow, table and jiita size. Of course,it will be better
if you have certain all of them but they make sense so to me they are OK.

What I can't stand is the scroll.

That carp scroll is too big and too colorful it dominates all over tokonoma.
Moreover, I ve got some peculiar impression from the scroll situated in center of tokonoma it seems like the carp
flying above the willow and the mallard. IF I were you I'd use a mountain, cloud or waterfall scroll painted in
black and white that gives viewers height. Or, Id rather not use scroll. Less is more.

Last but not least, Ive found an interesting article about scroll in Japanese, it says
"…about using scroll for bonsai, you'd better learn tea ceremony rules. Most scroll displays even at Gafu-ten and Kokufu-ten, they are incoherent."

Good luck Smile



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Re: spring/summer display

Post  dick benbow on Sun May 19, 2013 12:40 am

Very much appreciate your insight. thank-you for sharing. I wonder where i would find a list of rules on the tea ceremony. Smile

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