It is currently Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:59 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 10:12 am 
Offline
Editor

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:44 am
Posts: 269
Location: Huntersville, NC USA
Rob Kempinski wrote:
Living in 'Living Sculpture' is the operative word.

This definition therefore encompasses the comments made about complexity and organic nature. Bonsai has much in common with many other arts but it is closest to sculpture.

So get your berets and start drinking absinthe. :)


Rob,

Well said. The entire success of a bonsai revolves around a finite lifespan that has to be maintained for the artistry to have worth. This makes bonsai a very unique artform. I can't think of any other significant art form that requires such in-depth concern for the material's physical well-being.

Museums may have to make special arrangements for light, humidity, etc., to extend the "period" (not life) of paintings so as to remain in good condition, but the painting, no matter how "lively", is inert. Bonsai is the art from where lively is decidedly NOT a misnomer.

While I see parallels in bonsai and other art forms (including sculpture), bonsai does have its unique differences. Responsibility for the life of a living thing being chief among them.
Great discussion.

Warmest regards,

John


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 11:08 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Toronto
Colin Lewis wrote:
The changes that take place in a bonsai over time are, unlike other sculptures, ...


Whaddaya mean: _other_ sculptures?!?!?

It seems that deep down you think bonsai _is_ like sculpture. ;-)

Quote:
... a compromise between natural forces and the will of the artist - not necessarily the same artist throughout the life of the sculpture.


Good point.

Quote:
And is ther another art where the artist willingly and intentionally collects his own work and rarely lets it go?


Another good point! Especially considering that many a bonsai 'artist' willing to let go of his creations appears to do so only with his failures.
Quote:
Would it be fair to say that if bonsai is to be acknowledged as an art, it should not be necessary (or even possible) to compare it well to another art?


EXACTLY!

Does painting compare itself to music, sculpture to poetry? Of course not! Convoluted attempts at 'legitimizing' bonsai as an art form in my view denigrade it. None of the recognized art forms would stoop so low as to seek justification by comparing itself to some other form of art.

Why should bonsai?

If it is art, it is! And if it is, it has to be that on its own merit, and not on the coattails of something else.

I am content to do what I do, and I am not much bothered by whether what I do is art or not. If someone thinks it is, fine, if someone thinks it is not, no problem. Negative or positive, it has no bearing on my enjoyment of it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:49 pm
Posts: 32
Location: INDIA
'I am content to do what I do, and I am not much bothered by whether what I do is art or not. If someone thinks it is, fine, if someone thinks it is not, no problem. Negative or positive, it has no bearing on my enjoyment of it."- REINER

Quite understandable sentiment . An artistic bonsai is culmination of three skills. First, horticulture, second craft, and third artistic perspective and vision.

A bonsaist could have any of them or all of them and in any sequential combination and pat his/her own back & be quite content even if he/she lacks any of those skills.

Quite commonplace and understandable!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 14
Location: South Carolina, USA
Reiner, I agree with your comments completely. The painter does not feel the need to describe his/her work as 'two-dimensional' sculpture, etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:45 pm 
And so it is....Bonsai IS the highest art form and nothing can come close or compare! Our art can not be hoarded by a rich collector without an artistic eye and the the ability to nuture living things, like they can with common sculpture or paintings. Tell me, what art has all the elements and complexities as Bonsai? What art demands of the artist to continue to refine and redesign? What art is studied daily for years during care until something is revealed to allow it to go to the next level? Please, ALL other art pales in comparision to Bonsai!

Mark


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:06 am
Posts: 91
Location: Melbourne, Florida USA
Reiner Goebel wrote:
Colin Lewis wrote:
The changes that take place in a bonsai over time are, unlike other sculptures, ...And is there another art where the artist willingly and intentionally collects his own work and rarely lets it go?


Many artists never sell their art - they keep it themselves. Some gets sold only after the artist's death. (My Sister-in-laws' grandfather-in-law fits this mold. He painted his whole life and never sold one. After he died, his estate sold his paintings for very large amounts - the cheapest was about $20,000.) Many artists that sell their art, also keep some for themselves. Andrew Wyeth made hundreds of paintings for display winning worldwide recognition, yet over a 15 year period he painted and sketched his neighbor Helga Testorf and never sold of even displayed the work. Not even his wife knew about them.... There are many other examples. The same situations apply to bonsai. For example, every one of Guy Guidry's trees is for sale, while none of mine are (at least not right now. After I'm gone it might be a differnet story). However, the point has no bearing on whether bonsai is an art like a sculpture.

Quote:
Quote:
Would it be fair to say that if bonsai is to be acknowledged as an art, it should not be necessary (or even possible) to compare it well to another art?


EXACTLY!

Does painting compare itself to music, sculpture to poetry? Of course not! Convoluted attempts at 'legitimizing' bonsai as an art form in my view denigrade it. None of the recognized art forms would stoop so low as to seek justification by comparing itself to some other form of art.

It is common in appreciation of art to compare the various art forms. Virtually every American liberal arts college offers a comparative art class. Hundreds of books have been written about it and it is fertile ground for informed and educated discussion. Here are just a few of the related titles.

"Music and Literature: A Comparison of the Arts " by Calvin Smith Brown
"A comparison of the philosophy of education with the philosophies of art, history and science" by Charles A Tesconi
"A comparison of three methodologies as affectors of aesthetic sensitivity and judgment: Discovery of concept and principle, art history, and studio activity" by Robert Richard Anderson
"Varieties of Visual Experience" Edited by Burke Feldman (compares all forms of art)
"Art and Life In America" by Oliver Larkin
And on and on.

Even beyond comparing art forms, it is common for learned people to compare art forms to science and culture. As a great example, read "Godel, Escher, Bach : An Eternal Golden Braid," by Douglas Hofstadter. An amazing work that relates the work of mathematics of Godel, the graphic art of Escher, and the musical art of composer Bach.
So why should bonsai be included and compared in discussion of art? Because it is an art (and very similar to sculpture.) This gets to the crux of Colin's question.
Quote:
Would it be fair to say that if bonsai is to be acknowledged as an art, it should not be necessary (or even possible) to compare it well to another art?
I believe it is necessary because without critical comparison, it is not a full art form. Bonsai's link to horticulture has unfortunately linked it to gardening. Until the general public and more specifically the art cognizant public recognize and appreciate bonsai as an art it will languish as a hobby or pastime.
Bonsai doesn't need to ride on the coattails of the other arts, but it needs to stand up and be compared and contrasted and eventually critically evaluated in terms of these other arts. When that happens there will be great benefits to bonsai.

Mark wrote:
And so it is....Bonsai IS the highest art form and nothing can come close or compare! Our art can not be hoarded by a rich collector without an artistic eye and the the ability to nuture living things, like they can with common sculpture or paintings. Tell me, what art has all the elements and complexities as Bonsai? What art demands of the artist to continue to refine and redesign? What art is studied daily for years during care until something is revealed to allow it to go to the next level? Please, ALL other art pales in comparision to Bonsai!

How would you be able to make this statement if you are not comparing the arts? Also, this sentiment is fine within the bonsai community, but ask an American nonbonsai art critic if he or she feels this way and they will likely laugh at you.

Finally bonsai in Japan are collected by rich collectors that themsleves can't maintain the trees. So rich, they pay the bonsai artists to maintain the trees at the artist's nurseries. As a result, bonsai trees have significant value, exhibitions appear at national art museums and the community, though small thrives. (Some of the benefits I alluded to earlier.)

There is no reason to feel that comparing bonsai to other art or referring to it as living sculpture demeans it. Rather comparing bonsai to other art forms can elevate and promote the art to even greater levels.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:51 am 
Offline
Editor

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:13 am
Posts: 1190
Location: Los Angeles, California
Rob Kempinski wrote:
I believe it is necessary because without critical comparison, it is not a full art form. Bonsai's link to horticulture has unfortunately linked it to gardening. Until the general public and more specifically the art cognizant public recognize and appreciate bonsai as an art it will languish as a hobby or pastime.

Bonsai doesn't need to ride on the coattails of the other arts, but it needs to stand up and be compared and contrasted and eventually critically evaluated in terms of these other arts. When that happens there will be great benefits to bonsai.

There is no reason to feel that comparing bonsai to other art or referring to it as living sculpture demeans it. Rather comparing bonsai to other art forms can elevate and promote the art to even greater levels.

Great points, Rob.

Comparative analysis of different arts has great benefits. People who don't see these benefits and condemn this kind of critical analysis are doing a great disservice (probably unintentionally) to the art form.
One of the greatest benefit is that it forces us to look at bonsai from different angles, using the other arts as points of reference. This can lead to new ideas and a fresh approach.

It is hard to learn and evolve when doing the same things the same way over and over again. When we change the premise, we discover a different face, never seen before.

Comparisons can also raise the awareness of people involved and familiar with one art form and not with the other. Just recently, at an exhibit I was answering questions to a small group of audience about a literati California juniper and challenged them to compare it with a painting. All of a sudden, they understood the concept of visual balance and the reason why the tree was planted at a certain location in the pot. I started the explanation and they finished it for me.

I shifted their original premise from just a pretty tree onto a more abstract level and and exercise in aesthetic judgment. They said that it felt a little odd to think of a tree as art, but it all made more sense after learning about it.

As Rob said, comparing bonsai with the rest of the arts will help to dispel its public image as a gardening hobby.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:32 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Madrid, Spain
Hi all. I'm new to this forum but I recognize many of you from the IBC. Let me look to the comparison between arts from a different perspective.
My previous art "playground" was music. I used to be involved in music at a semi-professional level (a couple of records, summer tours, etc.) What strikes me from bonsai is that it touches exactly the same fibers in me as music does. That makes me think that artistry is in espectator's perceptions and not on the art object itself (inside or outside). Maybe it's about using the right side of the brain... I don't know. I know it happens when something "clicks" in one design, or music piece, and I'm not able anymore of explaining why I like it: is it rhythm, balance, .... ? Any attempt to explain it inevitably falls into senseless verbal fireworks.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:43 am 
Bonsai could be called an artform in the modern society. Art had, in the ancient Tribal society, no place. Western Art has its root in Individualism. In the ancient East, bonsai and many other things that 'became' art now in the West or the World, was related to religions and traditions of that society.
To give a good answer to 'Is Bonsai an Artform' ? we must first succeed in answering 2 other questions: 'What is Bonsai'? and 'What is Art'? at least 'What things do we call Bonsai and Art'?.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:29 am
Posts: 515
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Quote:
Art had, in the ancient Tribal society, no place. Western Art has its root in Individualism. In the ancient East, bonsai and many other things that ?became?art now in the West or the World, was related to religions and traditions of that society.


I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to call you on this one, whoever you are, Mr/Ms Guest.

Art has its roots in religious ritual, faith and mysticism the world over. Whether it relates to drawing pictures of prey animals http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/chauvet/en/index.html or almost any European artwork prior to the Renaissance, artworks were almost exclusively related to some sort of ritual observance. Possible exceptions to this were the artworks of Ancient Greece and Rome, but they are equally outgrowths of older, mystical tradition.

Bonsai is, arguably, able to track its roots back to the same base, as it is likely that potted trees were the province of travelling healers and medicine makers, in early Indian society.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:26 am
Posts: 8
Location: central Kansas USA
"Art has its roots in religious ritual, faith and mysticism the world over."
This is often stated as a fact, but is only true in part.

Ritual, faith, and mysticism is doubtless one root of art. But simply taking pride in ones work and doing as good a job as possible may be another root.

In the book, Where There Is No Word For Art, there is a discription of a few small villages in southwest USA with a unique language. The language has no word for art, yet much of their cash income comes from museums and private people buying their crafts for display as art.

The things made are made in the way they have done for, well, a long time. The people just made things as well as they could, tools, blankets, horse saddles and bridles, pots. And gradually, outside people started buying the things and calling it art.

Of course, if my belief that this is a root of art, then bonsai certainly would be concidered art. Even my poor things.

Walter Pickett


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:29 am
Posts: 515
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Equally, the simple, beautiful work of Shaker craftsmen is art. We should not kid ourselves that artistry is involved if there is a conscious intent to make things are pleasing to the eye.

A craftsman is an artist, as sure as the sun comes up, if there is care and effort taken to minimise the possible flaws in his work, without making it robotically conformist. Pride of workmanship and artistic intent are arguably one and the same (or were, until some dope awarded the Turner prize for an unmade, piss-stained bed festooned with used condoms and syringes).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:11 am
Posts: 6469
Location: Michigan USA
Colin Lewis wrote:
The changes that take place in a bonsai over time are, unlike other sculptures, a compromise between natural forces and the will of the artist - not necessarily the same artist throughout the life of the sculpture.


Yes, a compromise, this may well be what separates bonsai from other art forms, the necessity to compromise with the will and needs of the medium.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:23 am 
Offline
Editor

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:06 am
Posts: 580
Location: Seattle, WA
Will Heath wrote:
Colin Lewis wrote:
The changes that take place in a bonsai over time are, unlike other sculptures, a compromise between natural forces and the will of the artist - not necessarily the same artist throughout the life of the sculpture.


Yes, a compromise, this may well be what separates bonsai from other art forms, the necessity to compromise with the will and needs of the medium.


Earlier in the thread, I submitted glass blowing as another example where compromise with the will and needs of the medium is essential. I suspect this is universally true of the arts, but it does seem unusually manifest in bonsai and in glass.

Best,
Carl


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
cron
Copyright 2006-2008 The Art of Bonsai Project.
All rights reserved.
Original MSSimplicity Theme created by Matt Sims © 2004
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group