Viewing distance in Bonsai.

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viewing distance

Post  sunip on Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:30 am

So then the bonsai is sculpting the bonsaist?
A wonderful perspective, if we can allow that.
We have the whole world to give us distance to find oureselves?

regards, Sunip

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viewing distance

Post  sunip on Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:03 pm

Hy Khaimraj

An exhibit on pedestals in space to walk around objects is the nightmare of every exhibitor.
But also for a lot of the public.
We have to accept that not all public is aware of space distance etc.
We are raised in a 2D world of screens and books.
But also just for the fact of let say, the eyesight possibilities of the elderly ore those who have poor eye conditions .
They get stressed because of the fear to walk something over, which i actually observed a few times,
broken art pieces, with all the difficulties connected to that.
The display as in the BMW world (with Walters tree's) is therefore not that bad.
The distance between the ideal and the reality to be accepted?
regards, Sunip

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  my nellie on Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:53 pm

This post is my starting point:
Ravi Kiran wrote: ... ... Would conclude by saying that early in my professional career, I was taught the art of “LEARNING TO DISAGREE – IN AN AGREEABLE WAY”
and then I think I would keep this one:
Khaimraj Seepersad wrote: ... ... If you want to be seen as artists, I suggest you learn to conduct yourselves as gentle folk. Lets not have the examples of primadonnas and primosenors of the past as billboard examples.
But at last, these two have made me sceptic:
Andrija Zokic wrote: And sculptor tend to "un-sculpt" themselves. He try to give soul in piece of e.g. stone.
sunip wrote:So then the bonsai is sculpting the bonsaist?
A wonderful perspective, if we can allow that.
We have the whole world to give us distance to find oureselves?

"Find ourselves".....
This is something beyond the main theme of this thread that I believe is being worth keeping in mind (...at least mine)
But I am afraid that the findings shall be awfully disappointing....

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:05 pm

It is however important to understand that those doing things the new
way know more ways of doing things than those who are doing things the
old way. In that sense they know more. Also by doing things the new way
the pioneers of the new way have extended the boundaries of Bonsai. It
is ok for folks not to visit the new frontiers and to remain where they
are but due credit must be given to these pioneer who have furthered
the frontiers.

BUT . . . it is important to also remember that not all new ways of thinking or doing turn out to be long-lasting, successful ways of thinking or doing. A good number of prophets have been lost along the road and end up mumbling to themselves.

I think we're getting close to the point here where we're all mumbling to ourselves. Maybe we just need o think for a while.

_________________
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: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Ravi Kiran on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:38 pm

Jim,
Good to know that we are reaching common ground. On your thoughts of "Will this innovation stand the test of time" one old romantic saying comes to mind...

"BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST THAN NOT TO HAVE LOVED AT ALL" Very Happy

Regards
Ravi

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:10 pm

And then, there's: our saying that why "spin our wheels" -- why waste time doing things that achieve nothing, as in: "If we're just spinning our wheels, let us know and we'll quit."

(Very appropriate here today with 8 inches more danged snow on the ground.)

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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: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:47 pm

Jim,

perhaps we just need to re-read Ravi's first post again and see if anything else needs to be examined.

1] Distance needed to see a bonsai [ for training ] and exhibition. Close-up to enjoy the finer moments, and distance to see the - big picture.

2] Learning to appreciate, as opposed to only negative critiques - what does not work.

I liked the bit on - blood, sweat and tears - chuckle. For me the image would be more Tai Chi, learning to let the tree tell you what it can do and just follow nature. Ever wonder why I do not wire ?

I unsure on the - work of art, bit - I tend to just try and get it to - would this look like a tree with the first glance.

This point - illusion of a tree in its natural habitat more realistic - includes for me the 3d sculpture seen all around bit , as the great tree in the field, rice paddy, mountain valley, alone on the cliff and so on, using only the power of suggestion built into the tree/s probably more difficult, as it may enter the realm of , simplicity - fewer doing more -------------- as well as The Tokonome, where the imagination is stimulated by the entire display, plus it is an invitation to quietly sit and contemplate, slow down the head and the heart, have some tea.

It would be a bit uncomfortable sitting and 3d ing a tree having to sit and somehow move around. I think the - lazy susan - just does not work here. So it's probably stand and walk for 3d.

When you eat too much fine food, a bowl of soup is a good way to restore the harmony.

Points on inverse taper and eye poking branches, tend to fit into the idea of what makes the illusion of a tree, as does the few large low branches [ 1,2, 3] on a large stout trunk. As usual, it is the way it all fits, that best serves the illusion of tree.
Khaimraj
_________________________

Hello Sunip,

I have a Sculptor friend, who speaks only in images, and is very intelligent / alive as she goes, but it takes time to appreciate what she was says.
I am reading your posts, but need to get to know you through your e-mails before I can sensibly respond. Please lend me some patience,
thank you's in advance.
Khaimraj
____________________

Hello Alexandra,

just had to say hello.
May your trees grow healthier.
Khaimraj


Last edited by Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:54 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : we are not in Egypt)

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:59 pm

For some of us who belong to the "younger" generation. We will always try something new- probably we are just curious, probably we are not contented with the old ways and we find the old style stagnant and not evolving anymore, probably because we have the luxury of "time" on our side...which is the most valuable element in creating bonsai, which ever the case maybe, we will keep exploring to satisfy our non stagnant and always curious mind.
We always respect the old people and their old ways of doing things but whether they respect us for finding new ways which we perceived to be good, its up to them,,, but we will keep exploring. Without these mentality, pushing civilization forward would not happen and by this time "Homo sapien" will still be the bipedal primates living inside caves or some other form of primates looking up at acasia tree in the african savannah wishing that he can create a small similar tree that he can carry around, but no can do sir, because he was so afraid to explore outside his comfort zone and his small brain did not evolve to do "bonsai", and we won't be having these discussions at all in this "hitech" form.

...and who can say that new ways are not working- Why on earth did some galleries are trying to explore new type of displays, not just in bonsai, there were lot of thread here on modern displays as testament to that idea, instead of exhibiting the old fashion way...and why did those people from "BMW" chooses to display the way Walters tree were displayed. I'm not saying that, that particular display is perfect, but certainly those people hired by such company are not fools.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Viewing Distance of Bonsai

Post  Mohan on Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:13 pm

Greetings and a very happy New Year to all IBCians. Have just joined the forum.

It is surprising that an interesting thread started by my friend Ravi has drawn so much flak with saddening results and meandered into a discussion of Traditional vs. Modern Evolving Bonsai and correct way to present it to the viewing public!
Wonder what the Japanese or their Bonsai Masters think of all this!

Possible to get their views?

Regards,
Mohan.

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viewing distance

Post  sunip on Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:19 pm

Hy Khaimraj,
Ha there you catched me, a sculptor in semy retirement (you never really do) doing bonsai to learn distance,
stil recovering from his time on university learning about the rules.
Patience and distance, thats a lot of growing potential there, is it not?

regards, Sunip

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:25 pm

Mohan wrote:Greetings and a very happy New Year to all IBCians. Have just joined the forum.

It is surprising that an interesting thread started by my friend Ravi has drawn so much flak with saddening results and meandered into a discussion of Traditional vs. Modern Evolving Bonsai and correct way to present it to the viewing public!
Wonder what the Japanese or their Bonsai Masters think of all this!

Possible to get their views?

Regards,
Mohan.


Welcome Ravi's friend!

The Japanese are always quiet, never heard anyone writing in the forum.
But I'm pretty sure they want to stick with the traditional way.

regards,
jun Very Happy

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:29 pm

Hello and Welcome Mohan,

no, Ravi's topic did not attract flak or anything negative, this is normal as responses go for the IBC.
I for one am glad he started it. I do tire of spending so much time just imaging trees and showing. It is interesting to read the thoughts of others.

From the few books I have on Japanese Bonsai, this topic probably would not interest them. I think professionals have more important things to think about.

See if you can attract the attention of the few who have trained in Japan, if they will speak to you, if only in private. Mr.William Valavanis and perhaps Mr.Russell Coker, both are members. They may be others, but I can't say. So send them a pm.
Until.
Khaimraj

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:37 pm

Hi Sunip,

well at Lo Studio, I was considered a rebel, back in the early 80's, and I grow bonsai to relax my mind / eyes after x hours behind the easel. Even with the timer going 25 minutes work to 10 minutes rest, I find the mind needs a bit of green, and some distance viewing to relax the eye muscles.

As usual - Patience - is for doing things you do not like to do --- cleaning the toilet comes to mind. Laughing
Hope to keep reading your thoughts.
Khaimraj

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viewing distance

Post  sunip on Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:44 pm

Hy Khamraj,

Speaking about relaxing the eye muscles while working with bonsai.
The eye is receiving the image of the bonsai is it not?
But at the same time it is also creating the image of the bonsai.
I am pointing at my observation that we only can see what we are,
meaning; we see only what our mind allows us to see.
What a relaxing thought we don't see everything??
Relaxing is maybe the key word in the strange distance between receiving the image and creating of the image?
On your other remark; using patience for that?
Interesting.

regards, Sunip

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Ravi Kiran on Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:16 am

Khaimraj,
Thanks a lot for bringing the original intent of mine when I started this post into focus.

Jun,
Your thoughts on doing new things in newer ways are precisely my thoughts as well. As you have correctly said that it is often the younger generation which takes this initiative to learn more and grow more with full regards and respects to the older generation. In our case Walter though belonging to the "Older generation" by age is still pushing the boundaries of bonsai. I am glad he is at it and have learnt a lot from him.

Jim,
Another version of your saying is simply called "GOING AROUND IN CIRCLES" I understand where you are coming from. Knowledge is not something that can be thrust upon. It is a conscious choice if not a raging passion. As I had said in another post the possible consequences of Thomas Edison not giving up even after 90+ unsuccessful attempts at a correct light bulb filament. And also everyone cannot put in pioneering efforts. It requires a special breed of folks to do so. Those folks needs to be thick skinned, need to take failure, discouragement and often ridicule into their stride and still march on.

I say this because of my own experience on the professional side. I am an enterprenuer. Starting an own business like pioneering is not for everyone. A regular job preferably in a large organisation is a very comfortable and less risky option. However the 8 odd years that have passed since I started my own firm have taught me many things and as expected the journey has not been a bed of roses but a very satisfying one.

Pioneers hold a special position in my mind. There is however nothing wrong with those who are not pioneers. They are not inferior beings or any such deragatory stuff. Hope you will understand where I come from Smile

Regards
Ravi

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:02 am

Always good to hear different perspective Ravi.
not just yours but also from others who think differently. all of the family members of IBC has his own idea of what is good, from the grand fathers/mothers to the newly born in the forum,,,although we may have ideas coming from the opposite end of the spectrum we must respect each ideas and accept it as equally good as ours.

regards,
jun I love you

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:39 am

Hee hee, Jun,

"although we may have ideas coming from the opposite end of the spectrum we must respect each ideas and accept it as equally good as ours. Jun"

______________________________________________

I think the philosophy is --- respect an educated opinion ----- but the part about - equally good - is a falsehood.

This isn't Kumh by Yah land - chuckle.
Until mischievously yours,
Khaimraj Wink

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  my nellie on Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:50 am

So, Khaimraj, should there be some kind of "philosopher's stone" to judge: this is better than that ???
Shouldn't it?

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:00 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Hee hee, Jun,

"although we may have ideas coming from the opposite end of the spectrum we must respect each ideas and accept it as equally good as ours. Jun"

______________________________________________

I think the philosophy is --- respect an educated opinion ----- but the part about - equally good - is a falsehood.

This isn't Kumh by Yah land - chuckle.
Until mischievously yours,
Khaimraj Wink


Come on Khaimraj! I'm trying to be nice here...on a very rare occasion that is.

Jun
...now where is that angel emoticons Fiona? That's the reason why people here sound hostile sometimes, we got two devils emoticons side by side but not even a single angel. I won't settle for the albino or the flower.

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:20 am

Alexandra,

philospher's stone was used for turning lead to gold, so I gather we can touch the unusable and turn it to usable - Laughing

Seriously, reading / comprehension / growing experience ------ should guide us to the promised land - kumh by yah .........

How do you know when a topic is spent ...................... mumble, mumble, mumble [ J.L the wise.]

Jun - I read you ------- Cool

3d viewing though free of ornament or accessories, would require greater attention to design and patterns, in it's apparent simplicity, it would probably end up as complex as the Tokonome, and I do wonder when the design matures. All that effort and the tree continues to grow, perhaps this was all explored centuries ago and abandoned.
Khaimraj

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  my nellie on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:43 am

Well Khaimraj, due to lack of correct translated term by me, you misinterpreted my quote of "philosopher's stone".

What I really wanted to refer to is the "Lydia Lithos" (in Greek with latin letters) which is the stone found in the ancient city of Lydia on the coastline of Asia Minor.

This specific stone was used to check the sterlingness of gemstones.
Hence this phrase is used to declare an objective way of testing, of verification, of proof.

I used the term "philosopher's stone" within this concept.

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viewing distance in bonsai

Post  sunip on Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:01 pm


______________________________________________

I think the philosophy is --- respect an educated opinion ----- but the part about - equally good - is a falsehood.

Ever tried to explain the taste of an orange to somebody who never tasted it? Wink
I am talking about the trained eye.
When i walk trough let say the Palazzo Pitti in Florence or The Louvre in Paris,
i immediately scan where the interesting pieces are,
there i stop and look, sometimes i just pass a room without really looking it seems.
People who accompany me are getting totally exhausted and confused about that.
For me its just professional, but i accept that the others not always see why a piece is good or mediocre and getting worn out because of that.
They are not abel to select at that speed (yet) so i give them some space.
(Hoping they give me some space with their professions)
It is of course also about temporary interest where i look,
but i always visit the good pieces they are like old acquaintance's for me.
Having written this, it always happens that my eye is caught by some lovely imperfection telling a lovely story.
After a museum(or a bonsai show)visit i remember those little things who give me great joy and insight.
Having started with bonsai a few years ago, i was aware of the fact that the bonsai (masters) have that speed of appreciation in bonsai.
So now although i have a trained eye, i stand back and take the opportunity to train my eye also in the specific's of bonsai.
I KNOW that i still miss a lot. Why? Because i know the taste of the orange(meaning sculpture).
Now it is time to get in touch with, let say the taste of the other fruit(meaning bonsai)
Problem with student's is they first heave to learn to be a student, well i try to do my best.

I notice how the different nationalities expressing themselves differently in bonsai,
which is the nature of things i think, anyway lovely and enriching.
When we find a word for bonsai in every language?

About the philosopher stone, should we keep distance?
regards, Sunip


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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  miguelpc on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:37 am

Hi everyone! Happy New Year!!! sunny Very Happy thumbs up
I'm very glad to see this topic because it's what i'm trying to do with bonsai. Well, i only have 2 years and 2 months of bonsai (i'm a baby in bonsai), but with patience and love to the trees i hope to have a bonsai worthy of that name, in this "style".
My motto is: " If a tree in nature as a certain characteristic the bonsai, as a faithful representation of a tree, can also have it."
Which includes inverted taper, straight up trunks/branches, eye poking branches and scars.
When i have enough courage i will post some of my plants here.

Best regards, Miguel Costa

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  gordonb on Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:47 am

will baddeley wrote:
Walter Pall wrote:If you insist in 'the artist's choice' you better never expose your trees to folks who professionally exhibt art. They don't give a d..n what your choice is. You deliver the object and they exhibit it. Period.

Funnily enough Walter, I have 2 artists in my house tonight, my wife Bev and her best friend. They have both exhibited at galleries and exhibitions and have had a great deal of input as to how their art instalations/ paintings should be displayed, and rightly so. I don't think this should be any different for bonsai. Who is the artist....the creator or the curator?
I also notice that in a lot of your photos you are pictured with your tree, often in the background......or is that the foreground Very Happy

I would imagine (and hope, too) that a good curator would enhance the art, in the same way a good editor can improve a manuscript; and a good curator would, like a good editor, know when to leave well enough alone, when his input would not improve [the piece].

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Re: Viewing distance in Bonsai.

Post  Chris Cochrane on Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:09 pm

A couple of old posts from Luis Fontnils on the Viewing Stone (mail)List & IBC crossed my mind with the original question regarding "at what distance?"
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 1997
Subject: Daiza, Suiban, and other methods of display

In order to properly evaluate the validity or correctness of any receptacle for suiseki one must gauge certain criteria:

Functional - The receptacle must provide for a stable base in order to physically balance the suiseki, and protect it from damage.

Aesthetic - The principles of art; form and space, proportion, balance, counterpoint, light, texture, color, harmony, contrast, etc. must be brought into harmony with the suiseki. It is important to note that the receptacle and suiseki become an integrated whole (gestalt). Each element mentally influences the perception of the other. It is imperative that the author seek to understand the inherent properties and characteristics of the original stone in order to increase or isolate them through proper display.

Symbolic - On this level the receptacle can become many things. For example, it can provide a link to the concept of ground - earth in daiza, or as in suiban - water, and to all the memories and emotions that these things elicit in the viewer. Note that these particular symbolic links are more successful on very horizontal surfaces (the horizon of the land and sea). It is self evident that the appropriate receptacle be selected to complement the stone symbolically.

NOTE: The previous criteria overlap in complex ways.

Having said this, which by no means exhausts the subject, I propose that orthodoxy of display not be the only way. If a stone suggests an alternative method of presentation in order to fully realize its potential and fits the above criteria, then by all means do it. Experimentation based on sensitivity, not just novelty for its own sake, will in time no doubt lead to new orthodoxies
.
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 1997
Subject: Miniaturization - Suiseki

I wrote this for the Internet Bonsai Club but felt it was equally appropriate to explain some of the appeal of suiseki:

Without a doubt there are a myriad of overlapping reasons for each individual's interest in bonsai (Suiseki). We have covered many in previous
discussions. The one which I find presently intriguing and inescapable is the aspect of miniaturization. Why miniaturization?

MINIATURIZATION
Scale of Man:

As we have discussed previously, we internalize information about our world and project our own perceptions back out into it. Everything is colored by our perception; our wants and needs are human centered, this includes the sense of scale. We compare objects against ourselves. Big and small are relative to our own bodily dimensions.

Note that traditional bonsai size classifications use terms such as "one man bonsai", "two hand bonsai", etc. These terms directly relate to the human scale. To be in our scale (human scale) allows us to empathize and imprint our feelings more easily.
Temporal and Sensory Compression:
A tree in nature is usually quite large. To view its complete profile one must distance oneself quite far from the tree; this is a function and limitation of our field of vision. In the process of moving away, many things such as detail is lost to the viewer: texture of the bark, color subtleties, fine branch structure, etc. This moving back and forth in distance to obtain this information about the tree occurs in time.

A bonsai compresses this information all at once within our field of vision.

Hence, both temporal and sensory compression occurs. We receive stimulus that normally would not occur in such an undiluted and compressed form. This makes for better human comprehension and with this comes - Pleasure.
Sincerely,
Luis Fontanills
Miami, Florida
Luis probably has more to offer, today, but captured a few thoughts worth noting re' distance and expression while not limited to focus on 'distance'.

_________________
... visit the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington DC USA-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.com

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