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 Post subject: Bonsai is NOT Art, now it's official!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:55 am 
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Ok, now we have it officially. Bonsai is not art.
Take a look at the FOBBS (Federation of British Bonsai Societies) website:
http://www.fobbsbonsai.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=196
"At the end of a protracted dialogue with the British Arts Council the organization concluded that they could not accept bonsai as an art form because quote:
Bonsai tree growing is considered a craft and in order for it to be an art form you would have to be using your bonsai as part of contemporary visual arts practice. Growing bonsai trees is not an art form and therefore will not be recognized as such. If you want to apply for funding then the bonsai tree growing would have to be innovative in terms of bonsai tree growing or it would have to be used within an artistic project. An exhibition of bonsai trees would not be eligible for funding because it would not be considered an art form."
So is this the end of AoB? Can we go back to business as usual in all the other forums?
Or does this throw more of a light upon FOBBS than it does upon the art of bonsai?
I wonder what would happen if Bonsai Club Germany would try to convince something like a German arts council (if this existed) about bonsai being an art. Or for that matter how about EBA (European Bonsai Association) trying to convince some European authorities. How would ABS or BCI do?


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 Post subject: Hmmmmmmmmm....
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:34 am 
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Have anybody told the Japanese that they have been wrong for ... about a thousand years now? They wont be happy to realize that!
Maybe we should just use the word art in every second sentence, and all of the sudden Bonsai will be accepted as art, even in England and the rest of Europe. -:)
Good fun.
Best regards
Morten Albek
(enjoy your art - what ever it is).


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 Post subject: Re: Bonsai is NOT Art, now it's official!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:52 am 
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Walter Pall wrote:
Ok, now we have it officially. Bonsai is not art.
Take a look at the FOBBS (Federation of British Bonsai Societies) website:
http://www.fobbsbonsai.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=196
"At the end of a protracted dialogue with the British Arts Council the organization concluded that they could not accept bonsai as an art form because quote:
Bonsai tree growing is considered a craft and in order for it to be an art form you would have to be using your bonsai as part of contemporary visual arts practice. Growing bonsai trees is not an art form and therefore will not be recognized as such. If you want to apply for funding then the bonsai tree growing would have to be innovative in terms of bonsai tree growing or it would have to be used within an artistic project. An exhibition of bonsai trees would not be eligible for funding because it would not be considered an art form."
So is this the end of AoB? Can we go back to business as usual in all the other forums?
Or does this throw more of a light upon FOBBS than it does upon the art of bonsai?
I wonder what would happen if Bonsai Club Germany would try to convince something like a German arts council (if this existed) about bonsai being an art. Or for that matter how about EBA (European Bonsai Association) trying to convince some European authorities. How would ABS or BCI do?

I think this "British Art Council" needs a Boston Tea Party!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:17 am 
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Using their logic I could qualify just about any art as a craft. Besides this has less to do with qualifying something as art and more to do with turning down a request for funding, which is likely in short supply to begin with.
I'm curious what would qualify, in their eyes, as "innovative in terms of bonsai tree growing"?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:48 am 
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This has happened on a local level for me. I wanted to enter a bonsai in a government-employees contest in the Charlotte area. I was told it was be disqualified as it did not fit in any category they offered for the competition.
Now when the "Arts & Science Council" makes their yearly request for donations, they get a great big goose-egg from me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:00 pm 
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Maybe some folks have a problem with bonsai as art because it's alive, and therefore changeable, not static.
Does this mean that if the bonsai dies, it may then be elegible to be called "ART"?
Mike


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:19 pm 
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Mike Page wrote:
Maybe some folks have a problem with bonsai as art because it's alive, and therefore changeable, not static.
Does this mean that if the bonsai dies, it may then be elegible to be called "ART"?
Mike

If that's the case, then I'm already reponsible for a lot of "art". :)


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:26 pm 
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Dan Cormican wrote:
Mike Page wrote:
Maybe some folks have a problem with bonsai as art because it's alive, and therefore changeable, not static.
Does this mean that if the bonsai dies, it may then be elegible to be called "ART"?
Mike

If that's the case, then I'm already reponsible for a lot of "art". :)

Ain't we all!!!


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:45 pm 
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Mike Page wrote:
Maybe some folks have a problem with bonsai as art because it's alive, and therefore changeable, not static.

I thought about that, but it can't be, because using this logic, all performing arts would be in a similar situation. Live theater exists only in a certain point in time, and then it's over. And every time, depending on the actor, it's a little different.
You can, of course, record it, to make it permanent on the TV screen, but you can do the same with bonsai. Bonsai, like live performance, needs to be "performed" anew every season. And depending on the "actor" (the tree itself), and the "director" (the artist), the performance can vary.
And just like the scoresheets of a piece of music, the design elements of the bonsai can be put on paper, as a drawing or photo. Bonsai requires some care and maintenance, but much less so than putting together a big live show with dozens of performers and a large stage.
So, how is bonsai different from these performing arts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:03 pm 
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I can tell you one difference that they come up with that is reasonable:
Time on display.
They want the art inside and viewable for three weeks to several months. Obviously, we are not going to allow our precious conifers to stay in those surroundings for that long (that is, if we want it to stay alive).
The logistics of bonsai care scare these people!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:15 pm 
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I believe that if we who create bonsai call it "art", then art it is.
Following is an excerpt from an online article discussing what is art, with a link to the full article. I like the final sentence in the excerpt.
Mike
"Although a firm definition of art may seem like a good idea, and philosophers in the field of aesthetics have attempted to come up with one, it is possible to create and enjoy art without such a definition. Artists are generally more concerned with how best to use materials to convey their ideas than with deciding what is or is not art, whereas museum curators and art historians are busier looking for examples of particular types of objects, such as Greek vases or Rembrandt drawings. It is most important to remember that art is a category with changing boundaries, not only in its general definition but also in its subdivisions. People not only make art, but also choose which objects should be called art."
http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761 ... 1/Art.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:09 am 
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I wonder if the British Arts Council is in anyway related to the people who didn't think James McNeill Whistler's work was "art".
125 years ago this discussion was raised in Britain. Probably because the artist wasn't British. And bonsai isn't even a British word.
Whistler's 'Nocturne in Black and Gold', 1877. Deemed "Not Art" by the British arts community.


Attachments:
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Last edited by Mike McCallion on Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Bonsai is NOT Art, now it's official!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:43 pm 
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"At the end of a protracted dialogue with the British Arts Council the organization concluded that they could not accept bonsai as an art form because quote:
Bonsai tree growing is considered a craft and in order for it to be an art form you would have to be using your bonsai as part of contemporary visual arts practice. Growing bonsai trees is not an art form and therefore will not be recognized as such. If you want to apply for funding then the bonsai tree growing would have to be innovative in terms of bonsai tree growing or it would have to be used within an artistic project. An exhibition of bonsai trees would not be eligible for funding because it would not be considered an art form."

First of all,the art of bonsai has been simplified to 'bonsai tree growing'.
And I agree,the cultivation of bonsai trees is not art.It can be considered a craft.
There are those who grow bonsai material and others who cultivate a n d
style them.Where are the designers (assumed artists)?The "Killer Trees"?
The "Extreme Technicians"?Walter Pall in the gallery coexhibiting with a top American sculptor?Cheng,Kimura doing their magic?The "Trees with
Soul"?
They are all left out or were not properly presented in the argumentation.
Second,the council jumps from "Bonsai growing" right to the exhibition of
bonsai trees.
I even agree with that point,meaning not all bonsai exhibited are considered art.
I believe that the British bonsai "artists"were trying to apply for the status
in a properly prepaired and well planned manner.It would have been very important and supportive for the issue to express bonsai as a global
development including some historical background which roots back into
ancient art.
"It is not over yet til the fat lady sings.."...
Regards,
dorothy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:05 pm 
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Perhaps we should start building our own"Bonsai Art Museums"(statewide) and add some space for contemporary artists in a rental gallery to fund the place..
Everybody would be pleased!?
Regards,
dorothy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:45 pm 
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This is interesting, but not unusual.
A few days ago I was being interviewed on Japanese TV with Saburo Kato. He invited me to be part of this event. I mentioned that he was probably the only individual to have attened every National Bonsai Exhibition (Kokfu-ten) here in Japan. He said, probably he was and in the beginning the Japanese art galleries did NOT want to include bonsai because of the smelly fertilizer and mess with the soil and water.
It seems as though now about 70 years later they have changed their mind, OR the professional bonsai artists have convinced them that bonsai is an art form.
See, this even happens in Japan.
Bill


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