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A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

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A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh in his house taking care of a feronia lucida
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

There are many masters of the art of bonsai, but very few that reach the level of legends. Sadly the bonsai community lost a real legend recently. Ismail Saleh was, without a doubt one of the rare legends of bonsai, his passion and love of the art inspired thousands during his lifetime and will continue to do so throughout the ages to come.

Nothing sends ripples through the bonsai world like the loss of such a great teacher and artist and nothing saddens us more than to lose, not only a friend, but also a great source of knowledge and inspiration. It is with this in mind that we respectfully present this tribute to Ismail Saleh, his art, and his teachings, he will be miss, but never forgotten.

Ismail Saleh was born in Sukolilo, Pati, Central Java on 7 September 1926. His father who was a forest supervisor used to ask him to go around in the forest that made him love more on trees, stones and nature.

He was once an Attorney General and later on in 1985, when he was a Minister of Justice, he joined the Indonesian Bonsai Society. He was then appointed as the patron of the organisation. Hic serious commitment and love in bonsai made bonsai in Indonesia flourish. Bonsai which formerly was an exclusive art was changed into a people’s art that was practiced by many people all around the country. He was granted the title of “The Indonesian Bonsai Promoting Father” in 1994 by the Indonesian Bonsai Society.

In 1991 he led The Indonesian Bonsai Society to conduct the first Asia Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Exhibition and Convention. This convention has been going on very well every two years and has become one of the biggest bonsai and suiseki conventions in the world.

Besides a patron of the Indonesian Bonsai Society, he was also the patron of the Indonesian Suiseki Association, a special member of the Nippon Bonsai Association, Honorary member of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation, and Honorary President of the International Artistic Stone Association.

For all his prestation in improving the friendships between Japan and Indonesia and his role in introducing Japanese arts to the Indonesians, he was awarded The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure on 28 August 1997 by The Japanese Emperor.

We mean this to be a dynamic gallery in which those who view it can add any content that they may have by Ismail Saleh, be it scans of his drawings, photographs of his bonsai, or photographs of Ismail Saleh himself, simply by emailing them, with your name and a brief history of the drawing or drawings, to will@artofbonsai.org. As always at AoB, the owner of the pictures retains all copyrights and will receive full credit for them. AoB only requests permission to use them in this gallery. We hope you'll take the time and help us expand this gallery.

This tribute would not have been possible without the generous doinations and information given by Budi Sulistyo. His love and respect for Ismail Saleh is obvious and we wish to extend our deepest appreciation for all he has done to help us create this tribute honoring this great man.

Ismail Saleh, The Man

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh in Korea during the World Bonsai Convention (1997).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh with the Japanese Ambassador and his wife during the grand cordon award given by the Japanese Emperor.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh with his wife during the Award presentation.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh with close friends during award presentation.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh with Indonesian first lady, Madame Soeharto, during the opening of the Bonsai Garden (1989).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh explaining to the first lady in front of the garden.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh in the museum in Vietnam (1996).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Loving happily during a bonsai trip to Vietnam (1996).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh dancing happily with one of the Vietnam bonsai lovers.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh giving a souvenir to Vietnam bonsai friends.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Mr Chen Sui Fan, bonsai master from Taiwan who was specially invited to give bonsai training, giving a muraya bonsai to Mr Saleh (1989).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Isao Komatsu-san, a Japanese bonsai master, giving guidance on how to make good bonsai (1985)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh with Gani Djemat and YW Junardy in front of Chinese garden, Singapore (1995).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh trimming a streblus asper in his house.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh with Budi Sulistyo during a Bonsai upgrading course led by Shiniji Nakajima – san (1988).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh enjoying food during the bonsai gathering in Budi Sulistyo’s house.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh dancing happily during one of the bonsai gatherings.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh enjoying traditional Chicken barbeque in Kudus, Central Java, during a bonsai trip to that area (1990).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh during upgrading and refreshing course with Shiniji Nakajima and Young Komatsu from Japan (1993).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh during a bonsai training course in Cipinang Jail, Jakarta (1992).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh with the Minister of Education in the opening of a bonsai exhibition (1987).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh in a discussion on National Television during the opening of an exhibition (1997).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh checking an exhibition (1996).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh presenting a suiseki in the opening of a bonsai and suiseki exhibition (1995).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh with Budi Sulistyo in an Exhibition (1992).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh presenting a suiseki to President Soeharto.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh explaining suseki to President Soeharto who happened to inagourate a very big bonsai, suiseki exhibition in Jakarta in 1995.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh presenting a souvenir to Saburo Kato – san in the ASPAC 1, Bali (1991).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh giving a warm hug to Kato-san during the 1st ASPAC (1991).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh joking with Nakajima –san during the bonsai demonstration in ASPAC 1 (1991).
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh with Kato-san in the opening of ASPAC 1.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

In the 6th ASPAC Kuala Lumpur (2001)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

In the National bonsai congress in Yogyakarta (2003)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Learning Sui Han Penjing from Hu Yun Hua from China in Jakarta (2000)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Enjoying traditional Chinese music in Singapore (1994)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Studying rock penjing in China (2000)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Attending World Bonsai Convention, Germany (2001)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

In the World Bonsai Convention Germany (2001)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

With close friends in the World Bonsai Convention seul in 1997
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

With M Paiman in the ASPAC 3, Singapore 1995
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Giving souveneer to Kato-san in Hong Kong dring ASPAC 2 IN 1993 Gani Djemat was on the left and M Paiman on the back side
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

In Ambon, East Indonesia
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Introducing YW Junardy to the president during the big bonsai exhibition in 1995
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

ASPAC 7 in Manila (2003)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

ASPAC meeting in Singapore (1995)
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

The Bonsai of Ismail Saleh

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

His Ficus retusa was used as the picture on a phone card
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

His Eugenia uniflora on a phone card
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Pemphis acidula
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Actinophora fragrance
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Eugenia uniflora
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Pithecellobium dulce
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ficus koreana
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Premna microphylla
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Gulo Mantung
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Casuarina equisetifolia
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Streblus asper
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Wightia religiosa
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

The Suiseki of Ismail Saleh

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

“Weather Forecast”
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

A fossil from West Papua. Now in the collection of Budi Sulistyo.
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Suiseki for the Arboretum, DC Washington
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

“A Head”
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

“Active Volcano”
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

“Range of Mountains”
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

‘Natural Mountain View”
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

“A Hut”
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

“Caves”
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

‘Distant mountain”
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

Miscellaneous

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh's books on bonsai and suiseki
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Tokonoma in Ismail Saleh's house
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo

A Tribute to Ismail Saleh

Ismail Saleh's bonsai and suiseki shop in the shopping mall
Photograph by Budi Sulistyo



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