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Kusamono: Juncus effusus
http://www.artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=122
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Author:  Carl Bergstrom [ Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Kusamono: Juncus effusus

Image

Juncus effusus `Quartz Creek'
Soft Rush
Pot: Horst Heinzlreiter

Author:  Walter Pall [ Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Wow, what a perfect feast for the eyes. Wonderful color combination Carl.
Walter

Author:  Behr Appleby [ Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

Stunning...We have become so accustomed to seeing all bonsai and Kusamono photos showing the full plant, pot, stand, etc., that it is truly refreshing to observe a photographic work so totally different...Excellent job Mr. Carl...and love the Horst pot...Two artists come together to create...
Regards
Behr

Author:  Richard Fish [ Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

Carl,
Send me the original file - I would print this and hang it on my wall..!
Excellent photography. I also think that you are trying your own little experiment on us here too. It really does work for me.
Thanks for taking the time to share this.
Regards,
Richard.

Author:  Charles Bevan [ Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

Carl,
I must applaud you for taking a risk on this display. If we do not take risks, we will never have artistic movements in bonsai such as the impressionistic movement in painting.
The color combination in this display is wonderful. I love the effect that is created from the two contrasting tones in the grass and the pot. However, I am bothered by the use of line in this display. The grass shows a sense of formality and rigidity, but the pot has informal look with smooth, free-flowing curves. I believe that a masculine pot with defined lines would be much more fitting for this display.

Author:  Attila Soos [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

Charles Bevan wrote:
The grass shows a sense of formality and rigidity, but the pot has informal look with smooth, free-flowing curves. I believe that a masculine pot with defined lines would be much more fitting for this display.

Charles,
I think mixing the informal with formal is the whole point. The free-flowing curves are the counter-balance to the straight vertical lines. The Ying balancing the Yang, remember? The whole crux of Asian philosophy.
Based on your recommendation, Yin requires more Yin. What are you gonna do with the Yang?
Using straight-lined pots for straight-line vertical grass would lead to a rigid, sterile display. Everything would be made of straight lines, rather boring if you ask me. What you are saying is a knee-jerk reaction to the rule "masculine tree asks for masculine pot". There is also another rule that seems to require the opposite, and I remember Robert Steven mentioning it in one of his displays: the masculine character must be softened by feminine character within the same tree, in order to obtain the perfect mix. Mind you, the two character should never cancel out each other, so the portions cannot be equal
Think about the picture of a marsh or swamp where out of the water rise the straight stems of the reeds and grasses. The water is informal, soft, lots of shades and shapes underneath. The reeds and grasses are straight and nearly vertical. The two complement each other perfectly.
You should always think in terms of opposites, when trying to achieve an artistic effect. Whatever the subject, opposing characters will always have a much more natural and therefore more powerful effect.

Author:  Morten Albek [ Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Beautiful

Beautiful!

Author:  Carl Bergstrom [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 8:25 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you everyone for the comments.
Attila, you've done a lovely job of describing what I see as an important aspect of design in many kusamono: the interplay of oppositions. Let me add a few words about what I was personally trying to do here with this planting and this photograph.
I am fascinated by the dynamicism of the rush. As I watch this grass growing from day to day, it's amazing to see the new blades growing powerfully upward out of such a small and humble beginning. I wanted to capture this vitality even in a still photograph.
Hence the lines of this image - I see this photograph as an explosion caught in slow motion, the plant bursting out of its shell in radial lines. The harmony of colors ties the plant to the pot. But the contrast in both line and texture (the plant shining with glossy energy, the pot with a subtle matte grain) makes it very clear where the movement and the life-force are manifest.
With my best regards,
Carl

Author:  Michael Thomas [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:48 am ]
Post subject: 

Carl,
If I may be so bold, or perhaps ignorant, to ask; What was your thought process in photographing this piece so close so that the top and bottom were cropped off. Someone earlier in the thread made mention of this and noticed that it was refreshing since we are so used to seing these types of pictures of the whole plant.
I really, really like the cropping, ad I was just wondering if it was a concious train of thought that led you to do that or if it was just "one of those things."?
michael

Author:  Carl Bergstrom [ Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Michael Thomas wrote:
Carl,
If I may be so bold, or perhaps ignorant, to ask; What was your thought process in photographing this piece so close so that the top and bottom were cropped off. Someone earlier in the thread made mention of this and noticed that it was refreshing since we are so used to seing these types of pictures of the whole plant.
I really, really like the cropping, ad I was just wondering if it was a concious train of thought that led you to do that or if it was just "one of those things."?
michael

Michael,
My feeling with this planting was that the section shown in the picture was "where the action was." I didn't design the planting to be viewed in this way, but once I got it set up to photograph, I was taken by the force and beauty of the new shoots emerging from the pot, by the contrast of texture and line. So I narrowed in on this region. The full view only diminishes the power of what I found most compelling about the composition, so I chose to go with this close view instead.
With my best regards,
Carl

Author:  Cody Oliver [ Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:42 am ]
Post subject: 

I think you were quite successful, the cold blue-grey with the brown shoots in the centre, perfectly framed in yellow and green. An extraordinary shot! But then again, you did write the book on it?
-Cody

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