My name is Nicolas, and I found your discussions about aesthetics very interesting, but also sometimes, funny?as we are talking here (quite well in my opinion) about important details but we seem to forget the basic ?root? rules.
As far as I know, bonsai originates from China and basic aesthetic rules and guidelines come from there also. I tried to understand how that works and in my searches I found a Chinese-French book that explains these topics quite well. Maybe you have read it, in English or in French, as it may help you in understanding how Japanese display and bonsai such as Walter Pall?s, create such emotional feelings in us.
The book is by Florence Hu-Sterk and is titled La Beaut? autrement. Introduction ? l?esth?tique chinoise, 2004
The purpose of this book is to initiate one with Chinese aesthetics. It is intended to appeal to all levels. For example, it explores where and at what point did the vertically of Chinese writing influence the artistic glance? Why their music didn't succeed in opening out fully as well as their penmanship, painting and poetry? Why the Chinese painters always refuse to use perspective? Why parallel verses did not occupy an important place in their poetry? What does the proverb "In poetry, there is painting; in painting, there is poetry" really mean? And by which miracle did monochrome replace the colors in pictorial art?
This book is about Chinese landscape paintings that were created ten centuries before the European landscapes. It is about painting that takes a piece of nature that represent the whole. It's about the three kinds of perspectives Chinese painters use, why the Chinese painters don't paint shades and reflections, Tao drawing form, and the way that we may find it in Chinese paintings (as far as I know, in informal upright form also).
I think this book can shed some needed light on a way that is different from ours, but whose purpose remains always that of the beauty. An 'elsewhere' beauty.
Forgive my poor and broken English. Best regards,