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 Post subject: Profile: Budi Sulistyo
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:12 pm 
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Location: The Art of Bonsai Project
Profile: Budi Sulistyo
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Images and bonsai by Budi Sulistyo.

Budi Sulistyo of Jakarta, Indonesia first began bonsai in 1976 and started teaching the art in 1984. He gives seminars and teaches in classes and workshops throughout his country and on national television. As the first Indonesian to win an international award (International Bonsai Exhibition in Osaka, Japan) and as the author of the Indonesian language book "Bonsai", he is well known and respected in the bonsai community.

The following is an on-line interview conducted with Budi Sulistyo:

AoB: What do you like the most in bonsai?

Budi: I like the way it grows, the way it achieves the beauty with my my own participation.

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Asam asaman (Sabinea sp.)

AoB: When creating a bonsai, do you have a belief or philosophy that you want to express through your work?

Budi: My philosophy is creating beauty in small scale that reflects the beauty of the big scale of nature

AoB: Where do you get most of your material?

Budi: For small materials I got them from cuttings, seed or small trees from nurseries or friends, whereas for mature trees I got mostly from sellers that collected bonsai materials from nature.

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Ficus ampelas

AoB: Does Indonesia have a large reserve of untapped yamadori supply?

Budi: Yes, so much.

AoB: Whom do you consider your most important teacher?

Budi: In the early stages Hargianto, a senior local bonsai artist, gave me the initial enligtment. Then John Yoshio Naka through his books gave me a lot of improvement. Now nature is my most important teacher.


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Ficus benjamina

AoB: Is there a bonsai artist out there that has significant influence on your style?

Budi: Not a particular artist. I enjoyed many aspects from artists through their creations in the books.

AoB: What is your favorite bonsai destination, when you travel outside Indonesia?

Bud: To meet old bonsai friends from other countries and enjoy their new creations.

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Juniperus chinensis

AoB: Are you satisfied with the tropical species available in your country, or would you rather have some temperate species to work with?

Budi: I am satisfied with the tropical species in my country. But I also like to collect other species from other tropical countries.

AoB: When teaching bonsai to beginners, what is that you would consider the most important advice?

Budi: To love the bonsai. It is a long term commitment.

AoB: Do you foresee a subtle change in the way people are practicing bonsai around the world?

Budi: Yes. It is sad to see that so many people are so crazy of winning in the competition, while doing bonsai, to my mind, is much deeper than becoming just the winner.

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AoB: Are you familiar with the American bonsai scene? What is that you like the most about it? What about the worst that you can say?

Budi: American bonsai is good and improving with time. The worst is that American bonsai does not really wants to free itself to get its own identity.

AoB: What about the on-line forums in general, do you feel they are a help or a hindrance to learning?

Budi: They are helpful and good.

AoB: Do you often compare bonsai in your mind with other art forms? Which art form do you consider the most important in its influence on bonsai?

Budi: I would rather compare it more to meditation than that of art form.

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Tamarindus indica

AoB: Are you fond of a more formal approach to bonsai, where people need to learn the traditions and rules, or would you rather see people have fun and express their individual taste?

Budi: The formal approach is a must for the basic, but fun and individual expression can be done in the later stages.

AoB: Do you have a favorite among bonsai toolmakers? How about power tools, are you often using those?

Budi: Most Japanese tools are very good. I some times use power tools as well.

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Santigi (Pemphis acidula)

AoB: Do you believe that bonsai trees should reflect the natural growth habits of the particular species? We mean actual trees here, not shrubs such as azalea or serissa.

Budi: Yes for most of them. It has to be natural and even more beautiful than the nature. There is some exception for certain species though, like Casuarina that I prefer to design it like a pine.

AoB: Do you have any exciting projects that you are working on, or plan working on in the near future?

Budi: Yes. I have to prepare for our next Asia Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention in Bali in September 2007.

AoB: We know about the wonderful work of Robert Steven through his recent book. But in spite of the breathtaking specimens posted on the Internet, Indonesia has very little published material. Are you planning on publishing a collection of your work in the form of a book?

Budi: Yes. It is one of my dream to publish a book of my own that represents the tropical bonsai in the tropics.

AoB: What is the art of bonsai like in Indonesia, is it recognized as an art form and are there many practitioners?

Budi: Yes it is recognized as an art form. There are many practitioners all over the country.

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Pemphis acidula

AoB: What is your favorite Indonesian species? How about bonsai size?

Budi: I love several species, but mostly are Casuarina equisetifolia, Pemphis acidula, Triphasia trifolia and Tamarindus indica. I prefer medium and large size rather than small or mame.

AoB: Do you like to create bonsai from very young material as long-term projects, or rather work with advanced material?

Budi: I do both.


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