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artofbonsai.org :: View topic - The Problem With American Bonsai
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The Problem With American Bonsai
http://www.artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=930
Page 2 of 14

Author:  Will Heath [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re:


Author:  John Dixon [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re:


Author:  Shaukat Islam [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:11 am ]
Post subject: 


Author:  Mark Arpag [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

"In all fairness" I must ask you why, specifically , you say that. Which artists Bonsai are you comparing ? I am sure you have traveled extensively in America and visted many Bonsai artists to back your claim.
No, fairness has nothing to do with this assertion. We do not claim to have the best Bonsai in the world, the Europeans do.
There are many good self promoters in Europe, I consider them Carnival barkers, telling all who will listen that they are the Greatest Show on Earth. When you really are the best, you don't need to say it. When you are the best, you do not need to point out others short comings in an attempt to elevate your self.
Why does no one question the validity of lumping Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Beligum, England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden,Norway, Poland, Lichtenstein, etc in some kind of Bonsai competition that does not exist and to summarily declare a winner?
This question is repeated as fact, but it is FICTION.
Mark

Author:  Vance Wood [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

You beat me to the punch Will, indeed, where is the proof. The proof is in the viewing. And just to make sure I don't get quoted for something I did not say, or blamed for something I never suggested, in my article I make the observation that there are a some good bonsai growers in America but precious few world class bonsai artists. That is not to say there are none of either one.
I don't want to have people think I am bashing America, I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone more patriotic and pro American than I. But---I see a problem here that I hope gets addressed. So far no one has convinced me I am wrong, or offered any solutions that I have not thought of. Most of that has come in the form of agreement. Those who disagree have given me a lot to think about but not enough to change my mind.

Author:  Mark Arpag [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

ok

Author:  Vance Wood [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

My argument or thesis is not about Asia, Australia, or the North Pole, it is about the problem with bonsai in America. Europe is used as a bench mark. If I used Asia we would really be in trouble. I am beginning to think your problem with this is not that I think American Bonsai has a problem so much as the assertion which European Bonsai are so much better.

Author:  William N. Valavanis [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

Shaukat
You said:
" To Mark, I would say, I am niether an American nor a European but an Asian. And I would, in all fairness, say that the European bonsais are of high standard compared to American."
How can you make such as statement? Have you seen all the bonsai in America? Have you seen all the bonsai in Europe?
There are very, very few individuals that can authoratitivley make that stamement. To make that statement one must have knowledge of the quality of bonsai in America AND Europe, not only by photos posted on the interent or seen in publications. Most of the best bonsai in America are in private collections owned by people who appreciate fine bonsai and are not interested in promoting themselves or showing off their "artistry" to the rest of the world.
I do not think that taking a piece of imported material (usually trees Japan does not want and were rejected by the professionals so are exported) and redesigning them to acceptable bonsai is a big accomplishment. It is more of an accomplishment to train a bonsai from the beginning into an acceptable bonsai.
Oh, let me think awhile, many of the foreign bonasi aritists have NOT been producing bonsai from the beginning because they don't know how, do not want to patiently wait or have not been doing bonsai that long.. Many are more interested in carving large pieces of wood and adding some green foliage to appear like a bonsai. Bonsai is much more than "carving" a name for yourself.
It's easier and quicker to take a piece of "large" (always better, right?) material, either from nature or rejected local landscape, and shape it into a bonsai shape. Those specimens might look fantastic to the untrained eye (and there are MANY on the interent and reading this) but those specimens usually lack refinement and the history of their creation which is important I feel.
Just my thoughts today.
Bill

Author:  John Dixon [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

Bill just made a very important point:
Assumptions are being made about the quality of bonsai, both in the U.S. and abroad, based solely on what is easily seen by the general public. Until ALL bonsai can be qualified in a predictable manner, this remains theoretical conjecture.
And we all know whose mother Assumption is.
And for the record, Bill identified one of my bonsai in a display recently as a "lazy man's bonsai". It was a Kingsville, and I knew exactly what he meant. It is slow growing and not very demanding. I wasn't offended in the least because he's right. Then he compared it to another Kingsville that wasn't pinched back and commented on how MINE was tight because of continuous pinching.
What that proved to me is there are times when you must be patient and comprehend the message from the judge. That's what I want to help me improve as an artist.

Author:  Will Heath [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

While the above statements are interesting and no doubt accurate, how can we possibly judge the quality of bonsai that are not seen? We can not, hence we must base any thoughts on what we can see. Certainly there are better bonsai than those that won the latest World Bonsai Contest, or the Jal, or the (insert major show name here), but where are they?
These "patrons" of the art that Bill speaks of are rare (in my limited experience) and yet I feel they are sorely needed. It is difficult to form an opinion or a theory if the unknown must be factored in. The unseen must, by default, remain the uncounted, as they certainly can not be judged.
Bill travels quite a bit and meets many artists around the world, as does Walter. I would be interested in hearing from each of them as to their personal opinions on European and American Bonsai, not the beginning, the intermediate, or the advanced bonsaist results, but the world-class bonsai. Is one country really more advanced than the other, are they just simply different, or are we comparing apples to oranges?
Certainly the two of you are some of the few individuals that can authoritatively make that statement.

Just thinking out loud and learning a lot,

Will

Author:  Dorothy Schmitz [ Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Reading all your comments,they all sound well minded and even
noble.
And what actually happens when an artist creates a bonsaipiece that is
out of the ordinary,something against the flow,something new?This artist
will be torn apart in public and perhaps admired in privacy.This artist will
need to go through very challenging times before he might be accepted.
This artist I am talking about and who went through all this politics is
Mr Masahiko Kimura.
Now,how many Mr Kimuras might have skyrocketed during all this years
if there was no politics involved?
Other examples?Bet you could fill this page with all the people who either
gave up on the mass or chose to create and cultivate bonsai away from
public ,in privacy.I will leave some space..




Regards,
Dorothy

Author:  Vance Wood [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:59 am ]
Post subject: 


Author:  Vance Wood [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:33 pm ]
Post subject: 


Author:  Will Heath [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:


Author:  Rob Kempinski [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  World Class Bonsai Artists


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