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 Post subject: Bonsai as a Western Art
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:53 am 
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This thread is for discussing Colin Lewis' article, "Bonsai as a Western Art "
http://www.artofbonsai.org/feature_arti ... ernart.php


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:31 pm 
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Well said. I could not agree more! Thank you.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:55 am 
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This is an eye opener to those of us who were schooled in the Japanese ways and opens up a new way of looking at the subject. Many thanks Colin for offering a way of looking in a fresh aspect rather than the one eyed myopic view.

Ashley


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:11 am 
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This is not the first time I've heard and read a topic about promoting 'our own bonsai style or approach'. The Indonesians came with their national tree, the giant Ficus with hanging roots, others do the same to promote their local environments and/or identity. I have no judgement about this, but see it as a natural process: through the Japanese most of us have learned to know what bonsai means, and it is only natural to will to go further and explore more.

Everyone has it's own preferences about bonsai styles and approaches. Why do I like the Pine the Japanese way at most ' How do we come to our preferences '

I've read in the newspaper today that parents should not be too easily give the childeren the food they like because taste is a matter of education, too. If you always give the childeren they like, they will end up with a bad taste that they don't like veg at all, for example. Is bonsai also a matter of education ' I think so.

I think that 90% of the bonsai I've seen and love are 'virtual trees' which I've never seen in the wild. My conclusion is that bonsai has, for me at least, not so much to do with real trees in my environment. Please argue about this.

About the Pine: in the Netherlands I see a lot of old Pine in the Bunjin style, so this style is not pure Chinese or Japanese style.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:11 pm 
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I think that everybody who is serious about creating or collecting bonsai, needs to re-visit the same question year after year: What made you to become involved with bonsai, and what is it in bonsai that you like so much?

By answering this question, you will also know what kind of bonsai you want to create in the future, and whether you should look for inspiration in Japanese bonsai, or your own environment. By honestly answering this question, you will admit to yourself whether you regard bonsai as a Japanese art form, or an international one.

If you like bonsai because it evokes vision of Far East, exotic places, and brings you the scent of Chinatown, then you most likely see bonsai as an expression of the Oriental taste.

When I look at bonsai today, and try to answer the above question, all I can come up with is that I like bonsai because it evokes the magnificence and power of nature, in a miniature scale. This means, that although I enjoy looking at Oriental art, I don't feel the need to mimic it or be inspired by it. I see bonsai as a great opportunity to express my own personal views with it.

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I think that 90% of the bonsai I?ve seen and love are ?virtual trees? which I?ve never seen in the wild. My conclusion is that bonsai has, for me at least, not so much to do with real trees in my environment. Please argue about this.


My conclusion is that bonsai to me does have to do with real trees.
Not in the sense that I need to copy them, but it evokes the same feelings as a real tree would. This is, by the way, what art does: it takes you into an imaginary world and it makes you feel as if that world was real. In other words, I look at a bonsai that may not look exactly like a real tree, but it makes me feel as if I was looking at a powerful real tree.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:34 pm 
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Location: Michigan USA
Impressionalism?

Will


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:24 pm 
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Will Heath wrote:
Impressionalism?

Will

You mean, impressionism.
There are many ways of creating the impresson of nature, Impressionism in painting was just one of them.
The important thing to me is to create a sense of naturalness, using imperfection, random movements, assymetry, and other "tricks".
Even a cartoon or caricature can look natural, although it looks very different from the real thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:30 pm 
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http://sidiao.myweb.hinet.net/2007htm/p59.htm
I have to revise my previous statement that a bonsai works for me when evokes nature.
It is not always true.
The above tree from the 2007 Taiwan Bonsai Creators 10th Exhibition has more of a mythical quality. Instead of evoking a real tree from nature, it evokes a magical tree from the fairy-tales. A dark forest inhabited by fairies.
The tree is alive and almost wants to move and grab you.
So Ron, you may be right, these "virtual trees" can come from every corner of our imagination, and not necessarily from real nature.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:55 pm 
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Thank you for your comments Mr Soos. I do believe real art of all types stems from our imagination with inspiration from many sources, including nature and myth.
I would like to see bonsai reflect the mythology and environment specific to the bonsai's creator. One artist who does this, I believe, is Nick Lenz.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:58 am 
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Attila Soos wrote:
Will Heath wrote:
Impressionalism?

Will

There are many ways of creating the impresson of nature, Impressionism in painting was just one of them.

For the record, impressionism wasn't about giving the impression that the painting or motif was "real" but rather the impression that specific moment gives the artist wich he/she then tries to capture. The camera had a huge influence on that movement.
Sorry for being off topic :)


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