Living Sculpture not Living Painting - by Soos & Heath
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Author:  Will Heath [ Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Attila Soos wrote:
....which (surprisingly) leads me to the conclusion that by adopting the sculptor's perspective on bonsai, we don't have to abandon the painter or drawer's perspective. That's because sculpture already incorporates those.


Author:  Hector Johnson [ Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:40 am ]
Post subject: 

I've had some experience of sculpture (subtractive). I would readily admit it's more difficult than bonsai. It's far more difficult to shape stone, even soft stone, than it is to carve wood for instance.

Yes, bonsai is similar to sculpture, isofar as it is an exercise in 3 dimensions. I would question whether sculpture, particularly classical sculpture, is meant to be viewed in 3 dimensions. If you want a proper perspective on this then go and take a look at the sculpture in the Uffizi Gallery, in Firenze (Florence). You'll see what I mean.

Author:  Raphael Rybarczik [ Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:50 pm ]
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Why only compare Bonsai to the several art forms? It also has a lot in common with education, for example.

In the history of educational theory two main metaphors for the educator have been used: The sculptor and the gardener. The sculptor forms the pupil according to his own ideals having a goal in mind concerning what the child should be l?ke after the process. The gardener "lets the child grow" and just seeks to keep away bad influences.

In this sense, the bonsaiist is both, sculptor and gardener. He has a certain goal in mind, but he also has to consider the needs and restrictions of the plant.

In short: Education means taking two (opposite?) wills into account. The same applies to bonsai as the plant also has its "will".

Author:  Attila Soos [ Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Hector Johnson wrote:
I would question whether sculpture, particularly classical sculpture, is meant to be viewed in 3 dimensions.

Lately, and due to recent discussions on bonsai and sculpture, I did some rather extensive personal research through readings and museum visits on sculptures and the best way to view them. I can tell you that the overwhelming majority of sculptures were created with the intention to be viewed from all sides. Except the relief sculptures of course. And there is another category, where the viewing angle covers roughly 180 degrees (the very back of the sculpture is left unworked) where you have a range of frontal and side views, with no back view. But the majority of sculptures are the all-round ones.

In a very broad sense, we can of course compare bonsai with all art forms. I often do that myself. And your analogy is a very valid one. In that light, one can ask the question "why just compare it to sculpture and nothing else?"

However, this article refers to the possibility that bonsai can be treated as a sculpture in the most literal sense, with the only condition, of course, that it is a living sculpture, in need of special care and maintenance. In other words, instead of comparing it to sculpture, it actually identifies bonsai with sculpture.

This of course results in expanding the definition of sculpture (into live medium) as well as expanding the definition of bonsai (into all-round viewing). We are simply adding a new aspect to both art forms. Wheter this will be accepted by the larger masses, it all depends on the actual results that will be exhibited in the future. Like everything, ideas succeed or fail when applied in practice.

Cummunism seemed like a great idea until it turned out that it defies human nature (I suffered the consequences of that stupid experiment). Computers, on the other hand, proved to be useful in spite of the initial skepticism.

Author:  Mike Page [ Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Will Heath wrote:
Interesting switch from debate to flippancy. In the light of the above posts, I submit that maybe one day we can all get together to create a few bonsai.
Will Heath

Will, I assure you that there was no "flippancy" in my post, intended or unintended.

Author:  Will Heath [ Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:07 am ]
Post subject: 

After some thought, I agree and apoligize if you assumed I meant you.


Author:  Peter Evans [ Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:16 pm ]
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No matter How Much we try to compare Bonsai with other art forms the reality is that " They do not accept us as artist".
Every time i have tried to integrate with the "ARTS" I have been rejected.
They have all said that I should contact the local Flower Show !.
But, being a Scorpio, I will not be defeated.
I will make it my main project to be "accepted" into the main frame of arts. I can only hope that you will all follow me. Peter.

Author:  Will Heath [ Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:27 pm ]
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I think Walter made real headway when his work was exibited in a major art gallery recently.


Author:  Peter Evans [ Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

So, How many OTHERS are SO lucky!!?. Peter.

Author:  Will Heath [ Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

It has to start somewhere. But you are correct, this is a rare occurence indeed, one that I hope becomes more common as time goes on.
I am hoping you accomplish your main goal Peter, it would certainly advance the art form!


Author:  William N. Valavanis [ Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:15 am ]
Post subject: 

Peter and Will:
Displaying bonsai in art galleries is NOT new here in the United States, it might be new in Europe, but has been done here for decades.
Without thinking too hard, I can distinctly remember seeing photos of bonsai displayed in art galleries in Seattle, WA and New Orleans, LA. Plus over 25 years ago I had an annual bonsai exhibition in the major art gallery here in Rochester, NY. I think we had it for three or four years in a row, when bonsai was not nearly as popular as it is now.
So displaying bonsai in art galleries has been done in the United States for years... nothing new, but we need more of it.

Author:  Will Heath [ Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:56 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for setting the record straight.
Do you remember how well the displays were accepted by the art community at the time and what are your thoughts as to why displaying bonsai in art galleries seems to have taken a back seat? Having this experience in such a setting for three or four consecutive years must give you valuable insight into this subject.


Author:  Gordon Bowers [ Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

Carl Bergstrom wrote:
Second, bonsai, sculpture, and painting each create a represention of
reality, fantasy, or even sheer conceptual ideals by laying down
photons upon the most reactive of two-dimensional canvases, the
human retina.

In fact, because we have binocular vision, the concept of the iris being a 2-dimensional canvas becomes redundant - we are getting input from 2 angles, i.e, a 3-D effect.

Author:  Rob Kempinski [ Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

Carl Bergstrom wrote:
[*]I see no correlation with the definition of painting and bonsai. In
fact what many people fail to grasp is that painting is an effort to
represent three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface,
which differs greatly from bonsai in which we attempt to portray a
three-dimensional object using a three-dimensional surface...

If I might, bonsai as an art should attempt more than merely protraying a 3-D object with a 3-D surface. The bonsai should attempt to communicate at some base level via an emotional construct. Atempting to merely replicate one object with another is craft not art.
Carl Bergstrom wrote:
All of the arts
evoke emotion and convey deeper meaning through the aesthetic sense
rather than through the rigid medium of cold verbal logic.

I concur wholeheartedly.
Carl Bergstrom wrote:
Second, bonsai, sculpture, and painting each create a represention of
reality, fantasy, or even sheer conceptual ideals by laying down
photons upon the most reactive of [i]two-dimensional canvases, the
human retina.

Is not the retina a complex curved 3-D surface, both at the macro level and in the microscopic - used (in most people) in a binnocular and, as Gordon says, a stereoscopic mode?

Author:  Vance Wood [ Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:38 am ]
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This might be a bit off topic, but I don't think so. We spend an inordinate amount of time debating what art is but almost none discussing why we have art and why so many people are so impassioned by it, with it, and because of it? Maybe an idea for a future article might be entitled: Why does Art Matter?

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