Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

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Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Kakejiku on Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:16 pm

This is the toko no ma provided from Canada for the American Bonsai Society convention in Saratoga Springs New York this past weekend. The pyracantha is styled and owned by Frank Mihalic. I do not have information on the accent plant. I took some time on Sunday Morning before the show started to take some pics of different scrolls in the display.
Which would you choose and why? (Kind discussion and opinions welcome:D )
1. Waterfall

2. Magpie

3. 3 Persimmons no Branches

4. Migrating Geese

5. Cuckoo

Kakejiku
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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Guest on Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:15 pm

Hi Kakejiku

I would go for the migrating geese..it is almost time, and the collors of the scroll are nice together with the tree, and the small plant, a nice autum display.

kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and why?

Post  stonener on Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:57 am

Now this is real fun J-san
I M H O
No easy answer!
All have some dings
bird facing directions,
chop placements
scroll lengths & placements


Waterfall #2 choice
Scroll Length and chop placement
trouble me. However,
flow direction works

Magpie #3 choice
bird and chop direction,
and scroll placement trouble me,
but like all the white space and season

Persimons
scroll placement troubles me,
maybe fruit theme repetitious
however silk mounting and table material work,
and so does the season, fall

Geese
chop, bird direction, scroll placement and length,
Trouble me, but fall season works

Cuckoo #1 choice
I feel the hungry bird eyeing the berries
bird & chop right direction
Fall season silk mounting colors good
nice length, spacing and white area

"closed mouth gathers no feet"
ok put it out there, teach me ...Basketball 
stonener
*2 C better*

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  dick benbow on Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:04 pm

gotta go with stoner, I like the smaller scope of the scroll as compared with the other items as a balance thing for the total display.
Berries and birds go together quite well. Not quite in your face as the well known migrating geese. But a quiet and effective way
of saying summer is coming to an end. thanks JM Smile

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Kakejiku on Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:35 pm

Thank you for the three responses. All good choices and perspective. As my hyousou Sensei says to me, there is never only one correct choice or right way of doing things.

Here are some general observations.
In many cases Stonener pointed out about the Hanko (artist stamp). To me this is a very small issue, because for me the more important points are 1. Matching Season 2. Cultural Storytelling and 3. Feeling Invoked

1. If viewing from a purely Japanese point of view, my feeling is that the Waterfall and the Cuckoo do not work as well because these are themes used for Summer displays. Now, I am not sure if the Pyracantha is red in the summer also, but if so then I would be wrong. However, it is not the size of the waterfall scroll that bothers me, so much as that the waterfall is in line with the tree, and typically would want to see it from an angle where the waterfall is above the tree. Additionally, this tree is more straight trunk, and having the waterfall flow right to left seems a little off...Total length of the scroll is not an issue.

2. The persimmons, magpie, and geese all fit for explaining the fall season. Now, cultural storytelling is additionally important.
The geese to me is a really safe choice, but the issues brought up by stonener are good points. One I think the scroll is a little small compared to the tree. Also, all the Chuumawashi (intermediate cloth) is a good color for the fall, the brown seems to me a little dark compared to the light walls of the tokonoma. Additionally, I have read that these Firethorn berries are eaten throughout the winter by birds that do not migrate. If putting with migratory birds, wouldn't this seem a little contradictory. And if someone knows whether Pyrachantha grow near wetlands where the geese would be I am unsure....

Persimmons to me are even a little later Autumn season. As I recall, Japanese started giving Kaki as gifts to us missionaries around late November to Early December...But, again it was brought up as having repetition with two fruiting themes in the same display. I am not sure what placement of the scroll is causing issue. This is the centered position, but it could have been moved slightly to the right, but would not solve two repetitive elements. I feel this scroll would be paired best with a stone.

Feeling invoked is also important in the display. For me the best scroll to use would be the Magpie. Magpie is an Autumn season bird, the tree is also in Autumn in full fruit. Some mentioned that the bird is facing away from the tree and that is a concern, but it is not really a concern to me. Facing away from the tree reinforces to me the following points. 1. The flow of the tree branches are very strong to the right, and this aids the accent in being a stopping point to that flow. 2. During this time of year there is still plenty of forage available for the magpie, and it does not need to eat the berries at this time, but as winter comes, it will rely more on those berries to survive through the winter. If the bird were facing into the tree, then I would feel like the bird was going to eat now...

Just some small points to mull over...any thoughts?

Kakejiku
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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  dick benbow on Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:03 pm

maybe off point but does the table from which the bonsai is displayed from, bother anyone else? the bonsai is so overwhelming in it's own stature let alone on such an elevated table, that it unbalances the entire display for me. It would not be that hard to elevate it over the lowly kusamono with a much lower table.

JM thanks in your comments for using the japanese word and then the clarification in english. Very Helpful!

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  JimLewis on Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:36 pm

I'm afraid I have to say that I find the entire display (no matter which scroll is used) rather static and quite boring.  The tree itself is impressive (in the sense of very massive), but not particularly attractive.

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and why?

Post  stonener on Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:30 pm

Ya I agree Dick!
I also had trouble with the formal table, height & material but that and the accent were a given I understood.
I also would have wanted a lower heavier informal table because of the tree size and theme of display.
Would have chosen a different accent as well, but maybe these were only ones at hand that fit and available.
berries in fall and migrating cuckoo looking away, fit for me and I echo your acknowledgement of English Clarifications!
which are key to learning this Japanese Art Form of display...Basketball 
stonener
*storytelling*

Hey Lewis(moderator?)
I'm afraid I would want to say about your "rather static and quite boring" response!, typical.
And I would consider the source, But "kind discussion and opinions welcome" was asked for!
so I won't, Shaw quote of lunatic asylum most definitely fits...Basketball
stonener
*wrench*

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Kakejiku on Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:50 pm

JimLewis wrote:I'm afraid I have to say that I find the entire display (no matter which scroll is used) rather static and quite boring.  The tree itself is impressive (in the sense of very massive), but not particularly attractive.


As my 表装先生 Hyousou Sensei says there are no correct answers...

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Kakejiku on Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:57 pm

JimLewis wrote:I'm afraid I have to say that I find the entire display (no matter which scroll is used) rather static and quite boring.  The tree itself is impressive (in the sense of very massive), but not particularly attractive.
As my display Sensei says, "Display is not about the tree being the best bonsai in a show or collection, but the best story told to the viewer and defined by the placement and use of the objects..."


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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  fiona on Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:08 am

I have to say that while I like the display's potential, I have some sympathy with Jim's opinion in this display.  My reason for saying this is solely because the thing that worries my eye lies not necessarily with the tree, scroll and accent combination but with the tokonoma space itself.  I am used to using a tatami for setting up displays for larger trees and that would be a space of 180cm x 90cm.  The one in the picture looks far more square that that.  Jim used the word "massive" in describing the tree and my personal opinion is that the tree is indeed to massive - not for the unity of the three components but for the actual space. I think that if the components were spread out a bit more then the display would work fine.  It would also alleviate the issue that Dick raised over the bulkiness of the table.  But more importantly I think having even just a little extra space there would enhance the movement between component parts that IMHO is being stifled somewhat by their current closeness.  

As I said, this is only what my eye is seeing and I do appreciate that you had to work with the space given.  So, to give some positive comment now (and as a wee bit of defence of my argument above), the display that works best for me is the cuckoo. This is not because I think it's the best scroll - simply that the narrower scroll has created the white space necessary for the display to work.  The magpie scroll is of similar dimensions to the cuckoo but I feel it is less pleasing because it doesn't evoke the sense of autumn.  The migrating geese doesn't work for me but I can accept that this is mostly because I live in a country that geese migrate to, so for me they are going the wrong way. Smile    Although for me cuckoos symbolise summer, I can accept the idea of the "hungry cuckoo looking for its last meal of the summer" as a backstory to the display.  

So, my choice would be for the cuckoo scroll, but I'd quite like to see all the options over a broader display space to see if it did make a difference. 

Regards

Fiona


Last edited by fiona on Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:20 pm

Hi Fiona

This is a very good reply you give here, also was Jims nice...the reason why I only talked about the migrating geese croll, was because Kakejiku probably would ask more questions later, about other issues...Building up the topic Smile 

I liked the geese, as I live in a area, were we do enjoy them every day...for me would the fly the right way when leaving Smile ...the geese was a safe choise, I agree. but this is what I liked, i did not try to be sophisticated...and the cucoo.. is long gone from my area, so this bird would make no sence for me.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Kakejiku on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:24 pm

fiona wrote:I am used to using a tatami for setting up displays for larger trees and that would be a space of 180cm x 90cm.  The one in the picture looks far more square that that.
 
This Toko as I understand was brought down by the Montreal Botanical Garden, but I may be wrong...It is rectangular, but definitely not as long as using a tatami. It would also not be this wide...Tatami Mat is usually about 6 shaku by 3 shaku if I remember correctly...I think my picture taking makes it look more square than it really was. I also agree that a smaller tree and smaller accent would work better for this space. Unfortunately, this was going to be broken down and shipped back in 3 hours time and this is what I had to work with...

fiona wrote:The magpie scroll is of similar dimensions to the cuckoo but I feel it is less pleasing because it doesn't evoke the sense of autumn.  The migrating geese doesn't work for me but I can accept that this is mostly because I live in a country that geese migrate to, so for me they are going the wrong way. Smile    Although for me cuckoos symbolise summer, I can accept the idea of the "hungry cuckoo looking for its last meal of the summer" as a backstory to the display.  
In the display class I conducted we did switch out trees. Thank you for explaining your perspective for the birds or seasons as it relates to your seasons. Cultural storytelling is key, and what themes work for some in one area will not work for another in another area. But the rationale for mine was based upon solely which birds and themes go with Japanese seasons.

It is good to have many eyes that explain how they feel and think, but especially why. Your insight and explanation was very deep thank you.

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Kakejiku on Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:27 am

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:I liked the geese, as I live in a area, were we do enjoy them every day...for me would the fly the right way when leaving Smile ...the geese was a safe choise, I agree. but this is what I liked, i did not try to be sophisticated...and the cucoo.. is long gone from my area, so this bird would make no sence for me.

Kind regards Yvonne
I think your perspective is very correct. You have a good eye for small seasonal changes in your homeland and this was good rationale to choose from.


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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  nekotoban on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:24 am

Hi all, I left  my insight from Japan :

#1 Waterfall is definitely for summer and this scroll's width is a bit long.

#2 Magpie is not common bird in Japan they only exist limited area of Hokkaido and north Kyusyu. However, I can see them where I live and personally I like the scroll the best. It harmonized the display. I would go for this.

#3 The scroll's width is long too. persimmons and piracantha's fruits are competing each other. This display is hidari-katte(right flowing) and I think the scroll stops the flow.

#4 Scroll's length is too short. It gives me chopped image.

#5 This is what I hesitated over. Cuckoo is summer bird in Japan but scroll itself is good and matched in the display. Why I didn't choice is because the silk mounting(tyu-mawashi 中廻し if you like) color. Pyracantha's orange and the scroll's reddish brown(at least from my PC) is repeating.

If I were the displayer and had to use a scroll I would go for #2.
Personally, I won't use a scroll despite I have for what Fiona mentioned (space matter).  
It depends on which is main roll… tree or scroll?
If scroll is main, I would use it with the accent plant only. Or maybe suiseki instead Wink

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  JimLewis on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:24 pm

Personally, I won't use a scroll despite I have for what Fiona mentioned (space matter).
It depends on which is main roll… tree or scroll?
If scroll is main, I would use it with the accent plant only. Or maybe suiseki instead
Very good thought.

_________________
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: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Guest on Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:16 pm

JimLewis wrote:
Personally, I won't use a scroll despite I have for what Fiona mentioned (space matter).  
It depends on which is main roll… tree or scroll?
If scroll is main, I would use it with the accent plant only. Or maybe suiseki instead
Very good thought.
My words too Smile

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and why?

Post  stonener on Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:06 pm

Ok Jim I'll bite! Because I'm still wondering?
which scroll (s) you would use and why?
If only two items! fine but which ones.
I take a chance on asking only because!
I'm truly interested in your selections?
stonener
*genuine*

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Kakejiku on Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:10 pm

nekotoban wrote:
#2 Magpie is not common bird in Japan they only exist limited area of Hokkaido and north Kyusyu. However, I can see them where I live and personally I like the scroll the best. It harmonized the display. I would go for this.
山鵲は秋の季節は雅道山本流教本116ページ
Reference for Sanjaku as Autumn Season bird is Gadou Yamamto Ryuu Kyouhon pg. 116.

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  JimLewis on Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:09 pm

stonener wrote:Ok Jim I'll bite! Because I'm still wondering?
which scroll (s) you would use and why?
If only two items! fine but which ones.
I take a chance on asking only because!
I'm truly interested in your selections?
stonener
*genuine*
My comment was aimed mostly at the statement made that it might be a better display without a scroll.

At Bill Valavanis' recent 50th Anniversary bash in Rochester, NY, we went through a series of display exercises with each of the presenters who were participating in the event. It was an informative session, to say the least, and some of the presenters varied widely from the "traditional" three-point display concept.

The problem there, as here, with the scrolls was the limited choice; I think Bill had a much better selection for presenters to select from than we had here, but sill some thought no scroll was satisfactory and went without.

I don't think any of these are totally satisfactory; hence my agreement that leaving one out might be a good idea.

_________________
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: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  nekotoban on Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:52 pm

Kakejiku wrote:
nekotoban wrote:
#2 Magpie is not common bird in Japan they only exist limited area of Hokkaido and north Kyusyu. However, I can see them where I live and personally I like the scroll the best. It harmonized the display. I would go for this.
山鵲は秋の季節は雅道山本流教本116ページ
Reference for Sanjaku as Autumn Season bird is Gadou Yamamto Ryuu Kyouhon pg. 116.
You believe in a book, I believe in the real world. Fair enough.


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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  dick benbow on Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:29 pm

At present, I'm using just a scroll in my toko. It is quite large and could be used with a small kusamono but as I've paid my dues on learning display, the scroll really says what I needed. here in the Pacific Northwest, the maples are beginning to color and the fall rains seem to a constant reminder, awakening and going to sleep to the sound of rumbling gutters.
  Within the scroll the result of the increased constant rain is rising rivers and waterfalls coming back to life. birds and squrrels are active seeking winter food stores and the maples leaves are reddening up. To me it says fall and no other support or item is needed.

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:37 pm

Hi dick

I like your scroll...nothing more is needed you say...I agree.. you have the cliffs, water, plant and a bird in the same Picture.
As a gift to the scroll, does the wallpaper actuly look like Cliffs too, giving the croll even more dimention, of being cut deeper into the Cliff.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and why?

Post  stonener on Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:02 am

Hey Dick!...ThumbsUp 
Try an incenses burner!
Shape is key factor to feelings.
Implied fragrant dimension!...Suspect 
stonener
*pine cent*

 

Or you can add Implied sound dimension! to your feelings with a "Cricket" Okimono...Suspect 
or anyone of the animals you mentioned would work fine...

stonener
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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

Post  Andre Beaurain on Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:46 am

Nr 2 The magpie.

With such a heavy loaded Paracantha with fruit, it will definitely attract a lot of birds. Showing the attraction of the tree for nature. Don't know if a magpie eats fruit. But here the Firethorn is filled with Bull-bulls and Glass-eyes ect.

But the tree will definitely have birds in it.

Its also simpler and more elegant, balancing the heavy bonsai and flat accent.

Love and light

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Re: Which scroll(s) Would you Choose and Why?

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