Author Topic: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures  (Read 14457 times)

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #60 on: October 22, 2010, 12:20 PM »
Uppity cynical types? Hmm.

Interesting displays, the swinesai is a fun exhibit. A little levity can be uplifting at shows. At the BIB show this year, Boon's "Pandora" landscape was displayed with a little blue person (Navi?), an Avatar Movie character, on the display. Lot's of laughs and further reinforced the humor of the project, which was completed by an Intensive Class with Boon. If the overall feeling is good, good trees, weeded and pots cleaned, nice display environment, why not have some fun. But not sure it needs to be put out as a challenge, as if you don't like this you are not a real "American".
 

akeppler

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #61 on: October 24, 2010, 01:42 PM »
Wow! Tough crowd.
 

John Dixon

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #62 on: October 25, 2010, 08:14 AM »
Uppity cynical types? Hmm.

Interesting displays, the swinesai is a fun exhibit. A little levity can be uplifting at shows. At the BIB show this year, Boon's "Pandora" landscape was displayed with a little blue person (Navi?), an Avatar Movie character, on the display. Lot's of laughs and further reinforced the humor of the project, which was completed by an Intensive Class with Boon. If the overall feeling is good, good trees, weeded and pots cleaned, nice display environment, why not have some fun. But not sure it needs to be put out as a challenge, as if you don't like this you are not a real "American".

Yes, uppity cynical types are not my cup of tea. I am speaking of those who are not only critical of chance-takers, but downright insultive of them. I've seen this too many times and it unfortunately has the negative effect of steering people AWAY from bonsai. That is counter-productiive to the art. Criticism is synonymous with learning, but the delivery is so important. Constructive mannerisms will almost always be readily accepted. I find they are usually a trait in individuals who look at new, untested attempts and try to see the good before they criticize the bad. This can only be experienced if the attempts are actually made. The "uppity, cynical types" I am referring to are the ones who blatantly ignore anything out of the norm at best, and go off on a tangent at worst.

John, with all due respect, isn't the Expo truly a club CHALLENGE? Certainly a polite and fun weekend, but still a competition? Let's imagine a guideline where five tokonoma are provided for each club, and they must use those with five bonsai. Would that improve the show? Would that provoke artistic efforts? Would that "stir the blood"? In my opinion, it would not be an improvement over the current guidlines which are decidedly generous to say the least.

Let me say I am proud to be an American. I cherish that in my life with a zeal that I can't put into words. Having qualified that, let me also say I would hope any other citizen of any another country would feel the same way. I don't put myself above anyone else. At the same time, I  believe that the U.S. needs to do in bonsai what we do with most everything else we get involved with; approach it in our own way based on our perceptions and ideas. Never meant to insult others, just adding to what has been done before. Supplementing, not re-inventing.

Have a great week.
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #63 on: October 25, 2010, 09:20 AM »

Yes, uppity cynical types are not my cup of tea. I am speaking of those who are not only critical of chance-takers, but downright insultive of them. I've seen this too many times and it unfortunately has the negative effect of steering people AWAY from bonsai. That is counter-productiive to the art. Criticism is synonymous with learning, but the delivery is so important. Constructive mannerisms will almost always be readily accepted.

I'm sorry, I have to disagree.  All too often people's egos get in the way.  They expect to be commended simply for trying something new and different, ignoring the fact of if it worked or not.  When any criticism (constructive or not) is offered then the ego is wounded and more often then not lash out at those willing to comment.

I wish it weren't so.  This is a discussion board, one focused on studying the art of bonsai, together.  I wish more people would put their egos aside and be open and willing to learn from one another and have more discussion.  I know I still learn something new every day, and I hope that never changes.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 09:28 AM by MatsuBonsai »
 

John Dixon

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #64 on: October 25, 2010, 09:39 AM »

Yes, uppity cynical types are not my cup of tea. I am speaking of those who are not only critical of chance-takers, but downright insultive of them. I've seen this too many times and it unfortunately has the negative effect of steering people AWAY from bonsai. That is counter-productiive to the art. Criticism is synonymous with learning, but the delivery is so important. Constructive mannerisms will almost always be readily accepted.

I'm sorry, I have to disagree.  All too often people's egos get in the way.  They expect to be commended simply for trying something new and different, ignoring the fact of if it worked or not.  When any criticism (constructive or not) is offered then the ego is wounded and more often then not lash out at those willing to comment.

I wish it weren't so.  This is a discussion board, one focused on studying the art of bonsai, together.  I wish more people would put their egos aside and be open and willing to learn from one another and have more discussion.  I know I still learn something new every day, and I hope that never changes.

And while you disagree with me, I do agree with you. Yes, an ego will get in the way of learning. Where we might not quite see this the same way is while you are inferring the ego of the person receiving the critique, I would add the ego of the person DOING the critique.

Ironically, we - as a whole - seem to see ego in the one as a detriment, yet readily accept it from the other.   
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #65 on: October 25, 2010, 09:42 AM »
Good point, and well taken.  Its when either ego gets in the way and shouts down the other.  Then the conversation ends and the learning stops.  Then we all lose.



 

John Dixon

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #66 on: October 25, 2010, 09:47 AM »
Good point, and well taken.  Its when either ego gets in the way and shouts down the other.  Then the conversation ends and the learning stops.  Then we all lose.





I could not agree more! It's the old saying about when it comes to the mouth and ear(s); only one works at a time.
 

akeppler

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2010, 12:33 AM »
Hi guys, I don't post here much, but this thread has peaked some curiosity for me due to the word "display" coming up a few times. While I know each of the participants in the more heated part via the internet over a period of years, I hope we can exchange a few ideas.  Display has been a passion for me over the years. It has progressed at a more rapid rate over the past five, and has grown by leaps and bounds over the last two years with my participation in a National kazari competition. I feel I have challanged myself with the best of them, displaying against my teacher, Katsumi Kinoshita as well as Boon, Jim Gremel, Hidecko Metaxis, Ted Matson, Kenji Miyata, Peter Tea and many more you probably don't know. This year I placed second and took home $1000.00 in my pocket. I think this qualifies me to speak of display in America.

I belong to four clubs. They all have annual exhibits of their trees. All of the exhibits are crowded, all are complete with high level as well as mid level displayers. Mostly they have beginner level displayers that feel each of their creations are just as beautiful as those that are actually producing some art. I have no problem with this and find myself fully engaged trying to take those less learned to a higher level. That is what the club experience is all about.

Where the problems start to arise is when those higher up within the clubs try to take the club exhibit to a higher place, it becomes bogged down with what to do with those trees that suffer asthetically and not bruise all thos ego's. Most club shows exhibit a syndrome I like to call "Stuffing 40 pounds of pork into a 5 pound sausage casing". Stuffing trees together into 20 inch increments is not artistic. To argue otherwise is just fooling no one.

What those in charge of the venue have to do is use some guidelines on how the trees can be set up. It is not un democratic to expect people to hold to some sort of aesthetic. For instance in my more formal club I belong to which is a Japanese club of which I am President, we have space problems also, but if a tree comes on display day with out the appropriate stand it does not get displayed. Further, trees have showed up with a flat stone to be used as a stand, and the teacher, (Sensei) will come by and remove the stone and then ask who belongs to the tree. Either a correct stand is used, or borrowed or the tree goes home.

This does two things

1. It keeps everyone on the same level. We understand that some may only have three really good trees that come with stands and have a high level of artistry, and that a beginner may wish to display 7 average trees with no stands. We would rather they limit themselves to the best tree they have, borrow a stand, and show a good representation of how bonsai should look.

2. It provides for the understanding that though they wish to display everything they own, that for the good of the whole display, it may be better to limit the amount of trees and hold the exhibit to a higher standard.

This is not an easy thing to do in a club environment. I know this as my other clubs suffer from this problem also. The difference being my club is Japanese, the other clubs are westerners with attitudes, egos and you can't tell me what I can't exhibit. I suppose no one here has ever heard that....right?

I think the exhibit was a good one. It had a huge diverse range of species and a huge wall of shohin. To argue that there was artistry within the wall of shohin is allowing an ego to peek thru. It was a good way to deal with a huge amount of trees and not hurt any feelings. Kudu's for building it and making it work. Please don't try to defend it as art though. The green boxes and redline negative space is almost laughable.

In my opinion, it will be a very large task in next years exhibit on how to pare down the amount of trees and allow the exhibit to breath. If anyone feels that it is fun to see an exhibit that is crowded you are delusional. It is sensory overload and people get very distracted and actually hurry along because it gets so boring very fast.

I hope I haven't stepped on any toes with my remarks, and hope to see this better next year.

Best, Al
 

akeppler

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #68 on: October 27, 2010, 12:40 AM »
My second place Kazari entry.

Titled: Morning Meditaion
 

johng

  • Full Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #69 on: October 27, 2010, 07:41 AM »
Gosh Master Al, there is not one tiny bit of arrogance or ego in that post!!

For the record neither Ken nor I have claimed The Wall as art a single time.  We didn't post the pictures or start the "conversation."

My mistake was trying to explain our intentions and give context to our effort in response to an arm chair quarterback critique...of course, he has a right to his opinion...informed or not.  And who would dare to think that there would be any value in making the process transparent?

I do find it disingenuous that on a struggling forum where the mods constantly try to spur discussion and beg for input that the only response to Ken's explanation in the process we went through in creating The Wall was from Arthur....maybe you mods should think about that a little?

Just so you know Mr. Calloway...you, and your members, will not have to be annoyed by my ego on this forum anymore...Maybe its arrogant to even think that you were talking about me, but nonetheless I am finished here.

Thanks and good luck to you all!
John
 

John Dixon

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #70 on: October 27, 2010, 08:06 AM »
Al,

 Step on any toes, huh? Well, I just ordered some steel toe boots so I guess I can reply.

I find it very interesting that you remark about your rigidly Japanese club maintaining an apparent mandate on how to display, but refer to Western-style clubs as having an ego when they declare they wish to display in their own way. Did I also see you use the word un-democratic in there somewhere? Speaking for myself, that looks like there is plenty of ego on both sides.

Your obsession with formal displays - and specifically stands - is quite understandable. As I recall you MAKE stands don't you? Absolutely nothing wrong with that, and I am not saying your perspective is flawed; just that it is not the only one.

Do you remember a critique you made of a rock planting I did with shimpaku on featherstone a number of years back? You were rather critical of it, especially the fact that you did not feel the rock was "rugged" enough to mimic a mountain area. You posted one of your efforts that showed a single tree on a very tall slender rock with sharp fissures as one that accomplished the visual impact you felt was needed. Well, you were right - for YOUR area. As I said at the time, my influence is from THIS area - the Appalachian mountains. My composition was based on that perspective, and many people who have seen it, in person, remark that it reminds them of an area in our mountain ranges.

Personally, I have no desire to observe display after display of bonsai that have to be matched with a stand and a scroll. I like them, but I prefer a little more variety in how the bonsai are displayed. While I will never have the monetary means to visit the {quote} "big" shows {end quote}, I find that the Carolina Bonsai Expo is increasing in popularity at a substantial rate. Something is obviously going right with it.

I'd like to think that the Expo is a positive influence to the average person who has an interest in learning about bonsai, but is turned away by the stuffy elitism that is sometimes confused with the term "traditionist". Of all the good experiences I have had with bonsai, that attitude is the one dark corner that refuses to come into the light. 

Ego indeed.
 

John Dixon

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2010, 08:09 AM »
Gosh Master Al, there is not one tiny bit of arrogance or ego in that post!!

For the record neither Ken nor I have claimed The Wall as art a single time.  We didn't post the pictures or start the "conversation."

My mistake was trying to explain our intentions and give context to our effort in response to an arm chair quarterback critique...of course, he has a right to his opinion...informed or not.  And who would dare to think that there would be any value in making the process transparent?

I do find it disingenuous that on a struggling forum where the mods constantly try to spur discussion and beg for input that the only response to Ken's explanation in the process we went through in creating The Wall was from Arthur....maybe you mods should think about that a little?

Just so you know Mr. Calloway...you, and your members, will not have to be annoyed by my ego on this forum anymore...Maybe its arrogant to even think that you were talking about me, but nonetheless I am finished here.

Thanks and good luck to you all!
John

John, please re-consider your decision. One of the reasons I recently joined in here is because of you, Ken, AJ, and others. You are a very gifted bonsaist, a fun person to be around, and someone I am honored to call a friend. Your input here is invaluable and sought out by many. Please continue to post.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 08:27 AM by John Dixon »
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #72 on: October 27, 2010, 08:44 AM »
I do find it disingenuous that on a struggling forum where the mods constantly try to spur discussion and beg for input that the only response to Ken's explanation in the process we went through in creating The Wall was from Arthur....maybe you mods should think about that a little?

Just so you know Mr. Calloway...you, and your members, will not have to be annoyed by my ego on this forum anymore...Maybe its arrogant to even think that you were talking about me, but nonetheless I am finished here.

Thanks and good luck to you all!
John


It's Callaway.  I don't think this forum is struggling any more for content than any others out there.  And, I don't believe the mods have had to step in on any post in quite some time.  It's posts such as this that end the conversation.  I'm sorry you took offense to the conversation being had, and hope that you decide to contribute in the future.

Take care.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 09:19 AM by MatsuBonsai »
 

MatsuBonsai

  • John Callaway
  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #73 on: October 27, 2010, 08:44 AM »
Al,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  I read it with an open mind, and agree with your assessment.  Good luck with your future displays, and I do hope that you will continue to share them here and elsewhere.
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures
« Reply #74 on: October 27, 2010, 08:49 AM »
Come on folks, I have really enjoyed the conversation, I haven't replied again as I thought I explained my position, I think what you are doing as a group (in NC) is quite interesting, while different than what I tend to do, it is interesting to see the club dynamics at work. For the record, when I talk about display for shows, I am more concerned about how you balance 2 or more trees and an accent of some sort, how you balance the trees, the pots, the stands to make a pleasing composition. (Think of the Mario Komsta Red pine and Hornbeam display at Kokufuten a few years ago). I have personally never shown a tree with a scroll (intentionally), because I am always reminded of what a young friend of Chinese Heritage told me one time- "Be careful of buying pots with Script on them, it may actually say "My dog crapped on your lawn, silly westerner"". While I know that is unlikely, it is always in the back of my mind........