John Dixon wrote:
Bonsai will always have a front, preferred view, in my opinion. Different views will also be pleasing, but not as good. I think John Naka gave us some foresight on this subject. He said that when you have difficulty finding a front on a bonsai, find the back, then turn in 180*. There's your front. I know others said the same thing, but he was the first I knew had said it (Mas Imazumi said it to me personally in 1999 or so).
I hate to keep going back to this point, but it has never been addressed.
John, you say a bonsai will always have a front, I agree but, I say a bonsai will always have multiple fronts, regardless of it we admit it or not, they are there, people see them, only some artists choose to live in denial.
As I explained in the article, we can not control (except in photographs) the viewing angle a person views a bonsai at, to think so is an exercise in futility. That perfectly groomed front you worked for years to perfect, may not be seen at all. Face it, at the typical bonsai show, bonsai are displayed to low for the viewing angle we have been taught to cultivate. Besides, no one, and I mean no one stands directly in front of a tree and squats, sees on view only, and then walks away.
The emperor is naked.