A Chinese Elm
Page 1 of 2

Author:  Thomas J. Mozden [ Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:44 am ]
Post subject:  A Chinese Elm


They say the photo should tell a story. But then any story is only as good as ones imagination, unless of course it is truth, and the truth hasn't been stretched too far.
As for this story, you can decide whether it's truth or not.
The Story:
The way I see it, life has its ways of pulling you one way, and then arubtly turning you another way. Sometimes it will even throw a kink somewhere in the middle so that your not sure where the heck your going at all, and you come to a grinding halt, only to get back on track, and hope for the best down the road. In the end it all works out anyway. DOESN'T IT?

Author:  Joanie Berkwitz [ Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:39 am ]
Post subject: 

Pardon an inexperienced person making a comment here, but shouldn't the story be a "tree" story? Not a comment of life as perceived by people. What story does this tree tell?
It grew for years in one direction. Maybe it was growing out from under the early morning shadows of a cliff or other trees, reaching for more sunlight, straining to attain the most warmth and sun for its foliage. Finally, it reached a point where the sunlight pattern was enough and it grew upward instead.
This being a possibility, perhaps, it could be enhanced by the use of a moon pot with a high back (simulating a mountain throwing shade) or something like that. And of course the accent plant should be on the other side, where the sun is.
Just a thought.

Author:  Thomas J. Mozden [ Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

Isn't life in general pretty much the same for all living things, the struggle to go on? For some it's a smooth road, for others it's one heck of a journey. Interpet the picture anyway you like.

Author:  Joanie Berkwitz [ Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yes, Life is a struggle for everything. (Except some cats. They don't struggle, it would be beneath them to do so) But a tree reacts to *physical* aspects of it's environment, so if you tell the tree's story it should be a physical one. Wind, sun and shade, browsing deer, drought and lightning.
If you want to equate the tree's struggle with the kind of inner turmoil, fear, anger, despair, and hope that shape the human experience, then you risk losing the context. You are doing *art*, yes, but you are now using the tree as a personification and making it a secondary vehicle to the story. The tree should *be* the story in bonsai. Is this incorrect?

Author:  Thomas J. Mozden [ Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:33 am ]
Post subject: 

I hoped that the tree would be the story. Since the tree has no feelings, it must be shaped by whatever life throws at it, that of course being natures elements.
Somehow, your taking my perception of the physical struggle of the tree and allowing yourself to think that I'm only talking human struggle. Since people will be changed mentally rather than physically in lifes journey, I tried to equate the two to give a simple comparison. I guess I failed in that attempt.

Author:  Joanie Berkwitz [ Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:40 am ]
Post subject: 

Thomas, perhaps it is my own inability to equate them that fails. I don't know. No one else is responding....

Author:  Thomas J. Mozden [ Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yes it is pretty slow around here most of the time. Thanks for your thoughts and opinion. Check back occasionally to see if anyone else jumps in. Take care.
Thomas J.

Author:  Soumya Mitra [ Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

IMHO I think it is o.k. to equate ones' Bonsai viewing feelings in terms of human attributes and qualities. Even a tree is described in Bonsai field as majestic, sombre, rustic, struggling, masculine feminine , elegant etc.
All the adjectives are coined by human and the human mind thinks and expresses in human terms even the Bonsai .
ACCORDING TO ONE VIEW IT DOES NOT HAVE FEELING YET IT OUGHT TO TELL A STORY! How interesting viewpoint even today- when the quantum theory is being revisited to include new findings.
However this tree did not tell any story to me as it cannot think or feel!BUT I HAVE DISCOVERED AN UNIQUE HORTICULTURAL BALANCING ACT THAT MIGHT BE ART.

Author:  Richard W. Crabtree III [ Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:02 am ]
Post subject: 

In response to the 'its so slow around here,' statement.
this site was started by bonsai professionals for the sake of discussing the artistic design of bonsai trees, the members here do not want it to be teeming with discusion like many other boards where things get out of hand all the time. people will reply in due time, if you want spontaneous responses i can give you a link to a website for that, if you want well thought out responses to your trees/art, just wait, responses will come.
i'll reply to the tree later, the pace is slow here for a reason, i don't intend to sound mean here, reading back it does, but the point was made.

Author:  Will Heath [ Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:33 am ]
Post subject: 

When I visit a museum and view works of past masters there is never a placecard present telling me what the picture means, what it is saying, what story it is attempting to tell. Instead there is the art, naked, open, and displayed for all to see and for all to interpet with the filters each of us have, created by our enviroment, culture, education, and ability.
This tree has countless stories, each different, each valid, each residing in the mind of the viewers, this is art.
Monet does not need to be present when I enjoy his trees in his paintings to tell me the story, in fact if he was needed to do so, the work failed. I enjoy reading his thoughts and views on his work and the why thereof, but in the end it is the story in the viewers mind that determines success or failure.

Will Heath

Author:  Thomas J. Mozden [ Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:26 am ]
Post subject: 

nobody said anything about needing spontaneous responses. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would come here to make a statement like that, and not comment on the visual aspect of the thread, unless you have a bone to pickwith me. I was responding to a reply from a previous post. So far your reply to this thread seems to be more of a condensending one having nothing at all to do with The Art of Bonsai.
I am also aware of who started this forum and the reasons. I say let's not cheapen this forum with comments that seem to be of a personal attack,
and keep the comments constructive in nature as to The Art of Bonsai.

Author:  Will Heath [ Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

Back to the subject at hand?

Will Heath

Author:  David Yedwab [ Sat Jul 30, 2005 9:34 pm ]
Post subject: 

Regarding the bonsai displayed, I do see the turmoil in the main tree but believe there is a display conflict between the tree and the accent. They're running away from each other and out of our view. Unless this is what you were trying to accomplish, and it might well be, I'd suggest maybe reversing the positioning - put the accent on the right with the main tree on the left then at least my eyes will be drawn into the frame, not out. JMHO

Author:  John Dixon [ Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:35 am ]
Post subject: 

This bonsai tells me a story. It says that mother nature has thrown all kinds of disasters at it. It has been beaten down, and kept getting right back up. It is gnarled because of it's tenacity to live.
It it's current state it says out loud, "By God, I will grow that way if I want to".
I admire this bonsai. Man may have been responsible for it's shape, but the story is the stuff of legend. I see Samson asking for his strength back, just one last time.

Author:  Attila Soos [ Sat Aug 06, 2005 11:42 am ]
Post subject: 

I've been thinking about the placement of the accent plant a lot. Because I could't make up my mind about what's "right" and "wrong" about it, that prevented me from being able to post anything. I've felt that the knee-jerk reaction that the accent plant and tree need to "look at each other", although follows the generally recommended course of action, is nevertheless unimaginative and mechanical.
The thing is that the artist may chose to make them "look at each other", but may just as well chose to make them "look away from each other". Depending on what he is trying to achieve. After all, when we love each other, we look at each other, but sometimes we are alienated and we are leaving each other. We may be headed in the opposite direction.
If we want harmony, the object of the arrangement should embrace each other in unity. If we want tension, turmoil, drama, that requires a different set up. The tree heading away from the accent, to me suggests a feeling of separation and the ending of something. I don't really care about the original intention, but rather the outcome of the work. Changing the position of the accent would change that mood. Which is better? I don't know.

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group