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artofbonsai.org :: View topic - Bonsai Is Not Always Art
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Bonsai Is Not Always Art
http://www.artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=84
Page 1 of 3

Author:  Charles Bevan [ Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:26 am ]
Post subject:  Bonsai Is Not Always Art

Bonsai is not always Art
Charles Bevan
Saying that bonsai is not always art is certainly a bold statement, but it is undoubtedly true. Without a doubt, bonsai artists will endeavor for artistic achievement in their trees, but what about the back-yard bonsaiist*? Yes, we have all heard this term coined up before. A back-yard bonsaiist is one who claims to grow bonsai simply for fun of it and at times does not let those pesky Japanese rules get in the way of their styling. Back-yard bonsaiists often deny that bonsai have any artistic value. We have all seen trees from a back-yard bonsaiist, but have any of us evaluated them artistically? If one is to examine just a few trees of this quality, he or she will quickly realize that every single one of these trees is artistically unacceptable. The pots are often too large, of the wrong design, and of the wrong color. The branch placement is incorrect, and the lines of the branches typically tell a contradictory story to that told by the line of the trunk.
So are a back-yard bonsaiist?s trees bad art, or are they even art at all? In an earlier thread, Andy Rutledge noted Christo?s ?art? work ( ). He mentioned that this is not art, but simply decoration. Could this not be the same for a back-yard bonsaiist?s trees? If one were to compare a back-yard bonsaiist?s trees with hedges (which a few people have done on occasion), would they not simply be considered to be house decorations just as hedges are? If a person who grows bonsai does not consider bonsai to be an art, they will not be creating bad art; they will be creating a decoration.
Now, do not get me wrong, I am not criticizing the back-yard bonsaiists. In fact, I have a high level of respect for them, primarily because this is the typical way that bonsai artists start out. But until these back-yard bonsaiists accept the fact that bonsai is an art, they will never produce a tree worthy of show.

*Note: Some may know the term back-yard bonsaiist as one who grows bonsai in their backyard. This, however, would include many bonsai atists who have accepted the fact that bonsai is an art. In this article, the term back-yard bonsaiist used in opposition to the term bonsai artist.

Author:  John Hill [ Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

Charles ,
To me all, that do bonsai do it in their backyards. There are many who keep trees alive in their back yards, a big difference from those who work on trees in their back yards. There are those that have trees but never work on them to get them to a level of art. They just work at keeping them alive. To me, they are not even considered as artists. As Andy has said they are bonsai gardeners. They, for instance, know that a root system is terrible,or the branching is bad but do they try and fix it. They just repot it and keep it alive and all the things that keep it from becoming visually artistic is ignored. But in their eyes they may consider themselves as artists. So I guess bonsai is not always art.
John Hill

Author:  Will Heath [ Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:


Author:  Charles Bevan [ Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:


Author:  Walter Pall [ Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:21 am ]
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Author:  Will Heath [ Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re:


Author:  John Hill [ Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:51 am ]
Post subject: 

I do agree with you, Will - I just put the name of the post at the end.
I think what Charles is saying is that some people are just growing trees in pots and are not worried about creating art.
Do you think that taking pictures of your trees with the right backgrounds and the things needed for a good display is considered a part of bonsai art? I didn't before, but over the years I have realized that these images themselves are art, not just pictures of trees in pots.
Art to some is not art to others. In other words, some are not at the same level of art as others. If beginners pays attention to more experienced bonsai artists and try to bring themselves up to that level and continuously work on their trees they will eventually see the art. I know many people that have been growing bonsai for years, but still are afraid to cut branches and style their trees. I can remember when I too was like this - but I paid attention to those with more experience styling trees, and I studied their trees, and over the years I have brought myself up a level and without really paying attention to the art.
I know now that it is art - not just the tree but also the things around it. It is people like Walter and Colin (and the list goes on) who get enjoyment out of teaching those who want to bring themselves up a level. My respect for them is high. I consider them as mentors. I have met Colin a couple of times and would love to meet Walter as I consider them as my mentors on the internet. Walter has given me some great advice on the internet and I took this advice and put it into action and it has made for a better tree. By going out and working on my trees and not just growing them I have opened my eyes to the art, thanks to the mentors.
A Friend in bonsai
John

Author:  Will Heath [ Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:59 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you John, excellent points.
Will

Author:  Attila Soos [ Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:


Author:  Andy Rutledge [ Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:48 pm ]
Post subject: 


Author:  Richard Fish [ Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:10 pm ]
Post subject: 


Author:  Charles Bevan [ Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:01 am ]
Post subject: 


Author:  Lisa Kanis [ Tue Mar 15, 2005 6:15 am ]
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Author:  Soumya Mitra [ Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:16 am ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
"We all know that running is a sport. For some very serious, for most not so serious, but still sport. So where does running become a non-sport? Are people who find it difficult to run more than half a mile in a row and take brakes in between practising sport? Or is is sport on a rather marginal level? Or is it rude to call them 'backyard runners?-WALTER.
'When one runs for life it is not sport,
When one run in war it is not sport,
When one runs to evade tax/ repayment it is not ??
ART HAS A PURPOSE?positive purpose of effective communication .
-

Author:  Mark Rockwell [ Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:18 am ]
Post subject: 


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