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 Post subject: Re: Outline
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:04 am 
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Carl Bergstrom wrote:
Reducing the height brings the focus back to the base.

It's a simple and elegant solution. Thank you Boon for this laconic but powerful advice, you just made me refocus my eyes.

My comment about the current size is, that the decision to keep it a somewhat larger bonsai could also have something to do with the species in question. At least in my mind. If this rhododendron has its leaves and flowers on the large side, making it too small would render it practically ineffective during its 'green' season. Plus, the large flowers would also take its dignity away when in bloom, transforming it into a cute flowering plant.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:35 am 
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*Personal, subjective opinion, containing hyperbole included*

For my eyes, the real artistic value of this tree is in its anthropomorphic nature. Where others see eyes and a nose, with the space between the trunks forming the mouth, I see two eyes and a mouth, with the trunk space the beginnings of legs.

The tree is no longer a tree it is mutating from pure flora into fauna, it is becoming sentient while also gaining the ability to move like an animal after its prey. The branches are no longer just branches; they are reaching out like arms or malevolent medusa hair-snakes, (hence the need for their length), seeking to envelop, suffocate and destroy. The tree no longer makes food from sunlight and needs no leaves now to survive, rather, it has evolved and moved up the food chain to stalk other creatures and man alike. The tree now has a soul and it is a black one. We should chop this tree down and burn it, for it is a threat to our survival.

To modify the base, or to radically shorten its searching arms would indeed castrate this tree for me. If one met this tree on the edges of a forest on a winter's evening, it would not be wise to contemplate its wabi-sabi quality. It would be best to run away, very fast.
Regards,
Richard.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:47 pm 
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Richard,
I didn't think that anybody can beat Carl in his most dramatic description of this tree, but it seems that in many respects you did it. Wow.
What about this experiment: I will show the photo to my 2 year-old son and see how he reacts to it. If he hides behind the couch after seing it, the artist succeeded in depicting the dark side. If he says 'Nice tree', then (Houston,) we've got a problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:07 pm 
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Attila,
Thanks for your comments.
If your son sees a cute deer-face in the tree though, then that is great - he is only two years old after all. Art opinion, being subjective, means that we can all have our own interpretation of what is in front of us, and I would almost hope that a two year old would not be in a position to see what I see.

This tree truly scares me. It is out there and I don't want to be the one to meet it. For me at least, it is amazingly successful in its concept and message. I would love to hear the artist's opinion of what this work is trying to convey, given the differing interpretations.
Regards,
Richard.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:02 pm 
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Richard Fish wrote:
If your son sees a cute deer-face in the tree though, then that is great - he is only two years old after all.

Richard
Just for the record,
I hope you didn't take the proposed experiment with my son as any kind of criticism of your interpretation, it is just a playful remark. And, btw, it's always interesting to see the children's reaction to art since their judgement is not yet "polluted" by any kind of prejudice, or at least not to the degree that ours is. But they should be older then two, I think.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:17 pm 
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Richard Fish wrote:
I would love to hear the artist's opinion of what this work is trying to convey, given the differing interpretations.

That's an interesting question, and I am not sure that as an artist I would be willing to offer any kind of interpretation to the viewer.

Let's say that you like the work, and after you describe to me (the artist) in detail why do you like it, I would tell you that my intention was something totally different.

Wouldn't that be awkward? Would that mean that I, as an artist failed because you completely misunderstood my work?
So, as the artist, I would leave all the freedom of interpretation to the viewer, without an inkling of influence on my part.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:26 am 
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Hi Attila,
Attila Soos wrote:
Just for the record,
I hope you didn't take the proposed experiment with my son as any kind of criticism of your interpretation, it is just a playful remark.

No offence taken! Your remarks were taken in the spirit with which they were made.
Regards,
Richard.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:06 am 
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Attila Soos wrote:
Richard Fish wrote:
I would love to hear the artist's opinion of what this work is trying to convey, given the differing interpretations.

That's an interesting question, and I am not sure that as an artist I would be willing to offer any kind of interpretation to the viewer.
Let's say that you like the work, and after you describe to me (the artist) in detail why do you like it, I would tell you that my intention was something totally different.
Wouldn't that be awkward? Would that mean that I, as an artist failed because you completely misunderstood my work?
So, as the artist, I would leave all the freedom of interpretation to the viewer, without an inkling of influence on my part.

Picaso addressed this issue when asked to describe the meaning of some of the images in Guernica. To paraphrase him he said it is not up to the artist to tell you what is meant, otherwise the artist can write it down. It is up to the viewer to decide.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:01 pm 
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Damn Picasso. Isn't he that guy who painted all those people that don't look like people? How can that be art? Why a three year old could draw people better than that;-)
And what's up with the Guernica painting? It's so, so--emotional ;-)
Sorry...Ignore this post...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:18 pm 
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This tree to me gives me a feeling of mystery. It's like this tree has been drawn into many different environmental aspects. It looks like it has overcome a lot of erosion. The soil has washed away leaving a void under its footing. But it still survives with the long roots grasping to life. Limbs reaching out to collect more light so the roots will grow strong to help keep the tree upright and not give into the grasp of nature!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 6:56 am 
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I don't really know if it's wise to return to this controversial thread, after it has been peacefully laid to rest. Still, Nick Lenz' tree suddenly reminded me of something I read, namely a few lines concerning the history of penjing. See http://www.fukubonsai.com/2a2.html
There it is stated that penjing was an amusement indulged in by the Chinese aristocrats of days long gone, and that to create something scary or grotesque (paraphrase) provided a good conversation piece for visiting friends.

Nick's tree certainly proved an excellent conversation piece.

And don't mistake me: I liked it right from the start, so Thanks, Carl.
Incidentally, why is this Website called "The Art of Bonsai Project"? Shouldn't it rather be The Art of Bonsai and Penjing Project? It seems to me that the word "bonsai" is made to cover too many things. Seriously!
Lisa


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:37 pm 
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The Art Of Bonsai, Kusamona, Kusamono, Seikai, Penjing, Bonseki, Bonkei, and ne arai Project? It has a nice ring to it.

Will


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 6:55 pm 
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Quote:
The Art Of Bonsai, Kusamona, Kusamono, Seikai, Penjing, Bonseki, Bonkei, and ne arai Project? It has a nice ring to it.

;-))
Well, how about "The Art of Miniature Trees Project"?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:35 pm 
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Lisa Kanis wrote:
Well, how about "The Art of Miniature Trees Project"?

Miniature Trees sounds a little cartoonish. Penjing is not a bad word, but our experience with penjing as a group is next to nothing.
We thought of the word bonsai being ideal to be used as an umbrella term for all the other arforms mentioned here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:59 pm 
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Quote:
We thought of the word bonsai being ideal to be used as an umbrella term for all the other arforms mentioned here.

Fair enough. Since its original meaning is just "a tree in a pot", it's accurate as an umbrella term. One just needs to keep that in mind, I guess.


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