Morten Albek wrote:
Maybe the thing with bonsai is that you sometimes have to feel it and can´t describe it precisely with words, no matter how hard one try. Sometimes we try to hard with words and forget to sense and feel.
Vance Wood wrote:
I agree, it is like describing what an Avocado tastes like.
Colin Lewis wrote:
Like plonking your bare foot in a bowl of jello....
There are things that, when done in a certain manner, that will make us "feel." We may not be able to describe that feeling, but we can certainly examine the manner of the creation that made us "feel."
Michelangelo’s Last Judgment has induced profound, sometimes life changing feelings in those who view it, words to describe the feelings one experiences when viewing this fresco are never quite right. Yet, we can still examine the technique, identify the methods, and compare the work to others by the same artist and those by others. We can classify the work, categorize it, and by doing so, recognize the same techniques, methods, and even materials in other pieces. In fact, many times this is all we had to identify unsigned work.
I think we have two sides here, each debating a different side of the same coin. One side is talking about the feeling imposed on us by the work, while the other side is simply defining what style of work it is.
Just as one can tell the difference between Romanticism and Expressionism or the Indian River School or Black Mountain College movements, one can also tell the difference between a Literati and a root over rock. Simply put, if there is no rock, it can not be a root over rock style.
We can all talk guidelines of any other styles, we can list out what makes the style and these guidelines can be used to create the style. Literati is not magical, it does not escape classification, it exists, therefore it can be studied.
Let's go back to the beginning when the first bunjin bonsaist looked to paintings for inspiration and attempted to duplicate the trees in these paintings. The trees in these old Literati paintings were often done with as few brush strokes as possible, sometimes just a single stroke. Minimalism was of utmost importance at the time.
These bunjin did not say that there was no guidelines, they had them, they had the paintings. They looked to these paintings, found the aspects that made them what they were and duplicated them in living color.
We can also identify what makes these trees literati style. We actually have a very good start.
Literati are all feminine
Literati all take minimalism to the extreme
Literati all place the emphasis on the trunk.
So far, I have not seen these three "guidelines" debated or disproved, so until they are, we must consider them to be solid foundations for literati.
The question here is is there other guidelines for Literati?