Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

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Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:09 pm

The Bonsai display at the Chencun World of Flowers in Guangdong started today and the trees there were very stunning. There is so much for the west to learn about Chinese bonsai that it almost requires one to control-alt-delete their perceptions of the art of bonsai to fully appreciate.

This was the top award winning tree. A large Hackberry (Celtis sinesis).


The second place Orange Jasmine Murrya (Murraya paniculata). This is very slow growing tree so you can imagine how old it must be.


Me next to the tree for scale


A couple of observations to help put the show in context. Southern Chinese have large bonsai. Virtually all of the trees were large. Mostly 4 to 6 men carry trees. There were no shohin on display and very few medium size trees.
The show was about the trees - the displays were basic and while there were stands they were not very precise and no accents, scrolls or other knick knacks were shown with the trees: with the exception that there were many trees that had figurines added to the soil surface. The trees themselves reflect the Lingnan style and break many of the rules most of us have drilled into our heads. Again the presentation was not nearly as fussy as you would see elsewhere. It was a refreshing and different point of view regarding bonsai display and it shows that when one is not bound to a slavish adherence the "rules", bonsai can enjoy many permutatiuons. It will be interesting to see how the southern Chinese display will evolve as their artists visit displays in other Asian countries and in the west. But recall there is a 3,000 year old tradition of bonsai in China so it adds some serious credibility. Of course the cultural revolution had its toll but that is the topic of another conversation.



Many Chinese artist told me the goal of the tree design is to tell a story. Many of the trees had the trees poetic name stenciled to the front of the pot. That would certainly raise a few eyebrows elsewhere.
Here is an example of a raft with the name on the pot.


BTW, the market value of these bonsai trees was very surprising, Many of these trees by themselves would be worth more than the market value of all the trees at shows I have seen in the west. I am talking in the hundred thousand US dollar range up to the millions. There is big money in bonsai in China and again it is changing the market tremendously so again it will be interesting to see where it takes the Chinese bonsai art.


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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  jrodriguez on Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:16 pm

Rob,

Thanks for posting. Indeed, Chinese bonsai are usually large.

Have fun!!!

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:40 pm

Rob,

much thanks for posting this. I would ask, is the Murraya [ Sweet Lime ] able to make smaller than say 2 to 3 feet tall trees ?

I was given a then 40 year old murraya, and tried to dwarf it at 15 inches, the size one is able to lift when you get to be 80 plus.
No go.
Now it's back in a large pot and being left to grow. If I knew back then what I know now, I would have accepted the 8 inch trunk over the 3 incher.
Oh you live you learn.

Hope my Celtis [ American type ] can look like that one day.

Somehow when you entitle an old tree in English, it just doesn't quite translate like Chinese or Japanese. [ Mishi Shiba - was that - grass on the roadside - 2nd most popular Geisha or Welcoming Spring with Open Arms - Chinese.]

English - Indoor oak that has fallen on hard times - ???? Laughing

Thanks again.
Khaimraj


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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Guest on Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:45 pm

Stunning trees Rob, got any more? Very Happy

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Andrija Zokic on Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:50 pm

Thanks for interesting report Rob!

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Guest on Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:02 pm

Great Rob. Very interesting even without Shohin Shocked There is a remarkable difference of aesthetics from the Japanese traditional bonsai expression. A friend of mine styles bonsai that is a mix of the Japanese and the Chinese style, sot that is also a possible way to go.

Regards
Morten

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  sulrich on Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:36 pm

Hi,

Rob, thanks a lot for showing these great Penjing!

A friend of mine styles bonsai that is a mix of the Japanese and the Chinese style, sot that is also a possible way to go.
Now that sounds really interesting, I'd love to see pictures of these :-)

Best regards,
Stefan

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Andrija Zokic on Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:42 pm

sulrich wrote:
A friend of mine styles bonsai that is a mix of the Japanese and the Chinese style, sot that is also a possible way to go.
Now that sounds really interesting, I'd love to see pictures of these :-)

Me too!
It is interesting that Chinese bonsaist are not ashamed of scars on broadleaf trees.

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  mike page on Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:41 pm

Rob, you're a lucky man to be able to see Chinese masterpiece potted trees up close. Envy is not a good emotion, but I must confess to being envious. That being said, I'm glad you are there and I hope you post a lot of images for our viewing pleasure and edification.

Mike

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:14 pm

mike page wrote:Rob, you're a lucky man to be able to see Chinese masterpiece potted trees up close. Envy is not a good emotion, but I must confess to being envious. That being said, I'm glad you are there and I hope you post a lot of images for our viewing pleasure and edification.

Mike

Hey Mike, I really have to thank Bonsai Clubs International (BCI) for opening my eyes to the rest of the world of bonsai. For years I was a Japanophil and concentrated my attention there but Mr Su, the BCI president, made it a goal of his to expose Taiwan and China to the western bonsai world and vice versa; to expose China to the western bonsai scene. I have to say when we meet with the artists from these areas and the talk and camaraderie evinces friendship and mutual admiration of bonsai, I feel that there is real good to be had in international bonsai sharing. It makes me truly believe that what the late Mr. Saburo Kato of Japan used to say that there is "Peace in bonsai." I am going to take over as the President of BCI soon and hope that we can continue to develop this international spirit of friendship and sharing. With this IBC discussion board being so international I hope that many of you can join BCI and help me do it also.

Here are some more photos from the first exhibition. We are going to travel around China seeing other trees and stones and gardens. There is some amazing sights to be seen in this fascinating country.


This bridge style raft seemed to be a common style. Lots af varients of this.



A very large pine breaking several rules of reverse taper, branch placement, pot selection - size and color but still very cool. The presentation of the trees is not as detailed as we are used to. Little if any wire, cut needles and more a natural overview of the art. Could this be like a time machine view of bonsai?


Southern China has a semi-tropical climate - much like we have in Florida and so the trees species are very familiar to me. This one is trying to show how the ficus trees take over temples and structures. The structure is carved stone - has to be heavy. I can't speak Chinese but I think the characters say "Beautilful tree"


Check out his Wen Ren style (literati). Note the pot.


One of many landscape plantings.

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:01 am

Andrija Zokic wrote:
sulrich wrote:
A friend of mine styles bonsai that is a mix of the Japanese and the Chinese style, sot that is also a possible way to go.
Now that sounds really interesting, I'd love to see pictures of these :-)

Me too!
It is interesting that Chinese bonsaist are not ashamed of scars on broadleaf trees.
Ashamed? I thought the Uro was an accepted feature of Japanese bonsai..
Rob. These trees are inspirational. Faults a plenty but revered for them. Tree like but abstract and sculptural. Love them. Very Happy

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  irene_b on Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:24 am

Rob thanks for posting these!!!
I have been amazed at the styles from China (Thanks to Lindsay Farr and the World of Bonsai)....We have so much to appreciate in being able to see and experiance Bonsai around our Globe of a planet!!!
Irene

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:59 am

Rob, thanks for posting this! I love the trees and prefer the Chinese styles. I favor the Chinese styles and most of my trees seem to "lean that way". Something about the naturalness of the trees, the pottery, styling methods... everything! It is beyond my comprehension how some people can't see beyond "strict rules". Like many bonsai growers say regarding beautiful trees "when you see, it you know it!" cheers
Please post as many pictures as you are able; they are awesome!
Salut,
Todd

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  bontailo on Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:32 am

Rob,
Have a nice trip in China.

Lo

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Re: Guangdong Bonsai Exhibition - control -alt-delete your bonsai perceptions

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:16 am

Rob,

thanks for sharing these photos. they are all amazing penjing. the style i personally admire most. they always got three dimensional effect. very rugged looking trees yet very peaceful...i wish i can create one.

regards,
jun

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