Author Topic: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010  (Read 5422 times)

bwaynef

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Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« on: September 23, 2010, 06:52 PM »
Who all's planning to attend?

"This year's guest artist will be Mr. David Easterbrook, Curator of Bonsai at the Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal, Canada. In addition to overseeing one of the finest public bonsai collections in the world, Mr. Easterbrook is a well-traveled and much admired presenter of bonsai educational programming. Most recently he participated as one of three international judges at the 2nd US National Bonsai Exhibition."

"...at the Carolina Bonsai Expo, a regional show that has attained national recognition, bonsai display is often done in a decidedly non-traditional fashion. It is the creativity and unique character of the individual club displays, as much as any other factor I can think of, that makes the Expo special among all other bonsai events in the US. This has happened by design."

 

johng

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2010, 07:15 PM »
The Black Creek Study Group will be there "in a decidedly non-traditional fashion" ??? ;D  ::)
 

John Kirby

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2010, 07:25 PM »
So the clubs have mastered traditional display and are now venturing forth in new ways. great.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2010, 07:39 PM »
JohnG, I read something elsewhere that you guys were bringing something different.  I can't wait to see what's in store.  Are you, Ken, and Arthur planning a demo as well?

Kirby, is that sarcasm?  (The preceding question was.) 
The curator of the Arboretum in Asheville had a display at the 2nd Nat'l Bonsai Exhibition.  For his efforts:
Ho Yoku Award
Finest Creative Western Display
Eastern Red Cedar
North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, NC

http://bonsainut.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=12422&d=1276997715
 

johng

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2010, 05:50 AM »
So the clubs have mastered traditional display and are now venturing forth in new ways. great.

That is a pretty crappy smart ass arrogant comment.

Are you trying to stir the pot? or are you just drunk?
 

John Kirby

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2010, 09:56 AM »
I see so many people struggle (including myself) with the concept of setting up an effective  display, traditional or otherwise, that I often wonder if some just give up and move on to "nontraditional". Some have purposely moved on (Nick Lenz as an example) for artistic purposes. Others, may or may not care.

A good example of the difficulty in the basics of starting a display  is in Bonsai Focus this edition, with the piece on Mr Suzuki and two of his apprentices trying to pick appropriate stands for displaying specific trees.

JohnG- ah, no. But feel free.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2010, 10:01 AM »
I thoroughly enjoyed that particular article in the latest Bonsai Focus.  What a great exercise.  I just need a few (hundred) more stands so that I can practice that myself.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2010, 11:00 AM »
That is one warehouse that I would love to be able to spend a few days in. But the Plexiglass stand that Boon used was pretty cool as well. See the Certre award for best tree and container combination at the Valvanis Show this year, it was assembled by an Intensive class that Boon led in the fall, the students and he picked out the material, prepped the container (aka rock), got the trees spruced up and  then mossed, etc. Good thing it wasn't a tree and pot award, but a tree and container award. And it was very nontraditional display (plexiglass stand) and when in California it is the home to Na'avi. (aka the blue folks from Pandora).
 

johng

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2010, 02:45 PM »
So, John...Maybe you can explain the connection between traditional tokonoma display and displaying trees in an American show? 

The major Japanese shows display trees much differently than it is done in a tokonoma.   At Taiken Ten, trees maybe on a table or not...a small percentage used an accessory and the vast majority don't have scrolls and there are zero tokonoma...sounds like the vast majority of displays I have seen in America (wow, maybe we have conquered the art of display) 

It continues to befuddle me as to why people outside of Japan think that the only way to show bonsai is to it do it as it is done in a toknoma?  It's apples and oranges completely....There are no tokonoma alcoves at the Carolina Bonsai Expo...  From my experience, Al's show in the Japanese Museum in Ca is the only show I have seen that even begins to replicate the tokonoma method of display. 

I am not suggesting that you shouldn't consider aesthetics when creating a display for a show in America...I just don't see a connection between our shows and Kei do.

So, perhaps this is why people struggle with display...they are trying to do something that doesn't work from the start....something the Japanese don't even do????????????

Have you ever considered that?
 

AJ

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2010, 04:18 PM »
Full information about the 2010 Carolina Bonsai Expo can be found here: http://www.ncarboretum.org/plan-a-visit/events/carolina-bonsai-expo/

Thank you to bwaynef for posting about it, and to johng for trying to clear up the misunderstanding about the idea behind the encouragement given to the participating clubs to engage in creative display. In a nutshell, it's all about creating an experience. The possibilities for this, once you get past the restrictions of how it's "supposed" to be done, are limited only by a person's imagination. Each year at the Carolina Bonsai Expo you can see not only great bonsai, but great, creative ideas about how to present bonsai to the viewer. johng and his South Carolina friends have done some outstanding work in this vein. Not all the alternative display ideas you might see at the Expo are great, of course, but trial and error is part of the creative learning process. Even the less successful ideas are worthwhile, because of the effort they represent to expand the boundaries of bonsai appreciation.

Not everyone is enthralled by the challenge of imitating of a foreign aesthetic. For the people who are, there are many bonsai shows from which to choose. For everyone else, the Carolina Bonsai Expo is worth coming to see.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 04:36 PM by AJ »
 

John Kirby

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2010, 05:19 PM »
Must be as you've described it, I look forward to seeing pictures from the show. Cheers.
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2010, 11:30 AM »
one thing that should be clear at any show, what are the elements of display being judged.
in other words, can you win with only a tree, or do you need a scroll and accent; is it the tree being judged, or the overall display including the tree.
In many shows, you see trees on stands and no accents or scrolls because the display area does not lend itself to placement of scrolls or accents.  It seems that many shows are handicapped by their budgets, coupled with the American tendency to jam as much as possible into small spaces (meaning lots of trees in small display areas). 
 

John Dixon

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 12:57 PM »
In my opinion - which may be completely worthless - I tend to see the NC Arboretum Curator's vision as the guideline for this event. Not one time have I ever heard him try to discredit any Asian emphasis on bonsai, but rather that we also look for new and innovative ways to add to it.

 I like a good steak, but I don't think I want it for every meal. Variety adds to life. Take that metaphorically and apply it to a bonsai display. Let's face it; most bonsai events are about the individuality of the tree, not an overall group. That alone shows how the Carolina Bonsai Expo differs from the norm. Look at it as a custom room being built. Top quality materials are used, but all the moulding is of the exact same style. The curtains are exactly the same as the carpet and the upholstery. All the paint is the same color. All the lighting is done with bare bulbs. Now take the same room and VARY the materials but have them complement each other. It is much more difficult to do that, but the results are much more impressive. The bonsai club/group that can take that strategy and apply it to their display is likely to accomplish what U.S. bonsaists should be trying to do. A guest artist with strictly Japanese tastes may not like it - may even lambast it - but I could care less. Quite frankly, I find it strange to object to the "over-crowding" of a bonsai display on the basis of a mindset that was formulated in a country with a city like Tokyo that has a population density so crowded human beings are packed together. That's their way and I'll respect it, but I don't see the logic in it.

I'll take my acreage and crowded bonsai stand, thank you very much.   
 

bwaynef

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 10:56 AM »
I think there's merit to displaying trees in an environment that is meaningful to the practitioner, ...and much of the japanese aesthetic is too subtle or esoteric/abstract/obscure/recondite for most non-japanese (or at least Americans, ...or at least Americans that I'm familiar with). 

I believe we need to explore new ways to display trees (and kudos to the NC Arboretum for providing a venue where this is encouraged).  Japanese/traditional displays aren't successful because they have a scroll with Kanji trailing down behind a tree on a stand that's been handed down for generations.  They're successful (when they are) because they follow the principles of art and pay attention to line and form and ...the like.

We may be years behind in the symbolism of our country, but we can still build successful displays (or display techniques) if we present them with consideration for the principles of art.  My comments earlier were intended to spark discussion around that basis.

 

John Kirby

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2010, 12:12 PM »
Since I tend to work with folks who have trained in Japan (or are Japanese), I guess I will just continue to appreciate the pursuit of a more traditional effect. I hope that his doesn't make me, Cynical, Arrogant or Whatever.

Precisely the reason for not packing trees together in a display is the feeling of "space" and possibly "tranquility" that folks who live in very small spaces, and crowded ones at that, can find in a well laid out display. I understand, and respect, that there are differences of opinion on this matter. Just as there are differences in opinion as to the degree of development that trees must have prior to exhibition. One of the things that I really appreciate about the BIB show books (Hint for NC!) is that you can watch trees develop and mature over time as many trees are shown every 2nd or third year. Some trees are first shown fairly early in development and then mature nicely over 5-6 years (or more). The cost to the club for the book is limited to the layout, as books are printed on demand at Blurb.

Again, looks like it was a very fine and fun time for all. John