Mark Arpag wrote:
Good place to start this discussion.
So trees you want to call Literati do not fit accepted values what to do?
Create your own category. Call it Modern Literati. Make your own definition. It is a great idea, but it does not make the Sabina a Literati for me. I like the Bonsai very much, but it is NOT a Literati except by definitions designed to include it. Please explain the thought behind the conclusion that this Bonsai is in any way a Literati.
yes, that 's exactly what happened. That's what 's happening in art all the time. The minute you think the categories are clear someone comes up with something that does not fit and then categories are rearranged. And then some want to keep the old ones and some want to be liberal. This is how the art world works. Artists constantly work on the edge of tradition and push the envelope to create a new tradition or a new version - much to the dismay of fundamatalists. And that this is now a common thing in the world of bonsai only proves that bonsai has finally arrived in the world of art.
Modern bonsai in general is radically different from classical bonsai.
Classical: understantement, less is more, mainly or only well-known forms, very little usage of deadwood, no radical movements of trunks or branches, nothing radical anyway, zen-feelling, wabi sabi and such, abstract trees, which rarely look like in nature, but they give a natural FEELING, establishment (dwindling), still mainstream in America, old-fashioned and boring to modernists, for folks who value tradition highly, who think that it is the DUTY of the artist (or ratreh craftsman) to hold up tradition.
Modern: overstatement, showing off, new forms, lots of deadwood, often more than 80% of the whole tree, radical movements all over the place, the more the better, partial tanukis adding deadwood, new pots or rather containers, no such thing as zen-feeling, touch of man is visible all over, artistry going to artificial, more sculptues than trees, even more abstract than classical, looks like of platic, like from another star, have given up to have a naturual feeling, avant-guarde, mainstream in Europe.; Hollywood bonsai; hair raising and dsigusting to clasical bonsaiists; for folks who belive that it is the DUTY of an artist to challenge tradition.
These are, of course strong generalizations and polarizations. To make the point clear. Most trees fall somewhere in between. And it is also folks who fall in between. But a tendency is visible, clearly all over the world. From this tradition it becomes clear that it is almost impossible to have a civilized discussion among the two directions. Well, almost. I think this what makes AoB so special that it should be possible here.
According to this definition of classcial vs. modern bonsai style one can find examples of every form in either style. The sabina juniper to me fits well into the modern style defintion. The form is literati, the feeling is modern.
Don't like this definiton? Well, find a better one.
Don't like modern bonsai? Well, this is an entirely different matter then. One can hate something, but one still has to accept that it exists and there is a defintiion for it.