Presentation > Bonsai Shows Discussion

St. Louis Japanese Festival

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Don Blackmond:
I like the display too.  Admittedly, I'm not the guy to be critiquing the trees or the display.   :-X

I've always been partial to that shimp.  Its just a great little tree.  So much in so little.  Looks great!

I like the display a lot too.  

The only question I would have is whether the second tree from the right (the shishigashira?), which appears to have a left-right movement, is appropriate on that side of the scroll.  I don't know if a tree in that position should have movement toward the tree on the right (the musk maple?), or have movement toward the scroll (right to left movement).

That's the only thing that pops out at me to my inexperienced, untrained eye, so hopefully someone that knows what they are talking about will chime in. :D 

Again, great display and very nice trees.  Thanks for sharing.

I like it, but there's too much of it,  ;D. The trees look to be exceptional. Their presentation isn't dynamic though.

I'm hardly an expert, but it strikes me this way:  This display is really two displays--the one on the right and the one on the left. The trees on the left step down towards the middle. The trees on the right do the same. The result is too symmetrical-- and compositionally unexciting. An asymmetrical presentation would serve all the trees better and liven things up a bit.

Also you have mixed tree designs and species, which confuses the final image. Do you mean to convey an "alpine" feel? or a lowland woodland--you have a contorted juniper and a myogi decidous tree on the same visual plane. That's contradictory to me.

Splitting up the display into two, would help give the subjects of each more impact, I think and emphasize the "feel" of each. Simplicity is better than complex. Try to make a display do one thing well, not four things all at once.

Also, can't really tell what the scroll is. Looks to be some kid of bird in a willow. I would avoid using any scroll that contains a tree, or limbs, or trees leaves in displays that have live trees. If you split up the trees into two displays, matching appropriate scrolls (or suiseki or okimono) is easier.

I agree with Rock that there is just too much going on.  I like the left side, but the right side confuses the overall image.  I would personally lose the scroll and the second tree from the right.  Then move the right most tree toward the left and forward, and possibly give it an accent, then recenter the whole thing.  If you are interested in shohin displays, i recommend picking up some kokufu books and checking out how they display their trees.  All that being said, I think you have all the elements to make a really nice display, move them around at home into different configurations and stare at it for a while, see which one makes you feel comfortable and which don't.


King Kong:
Honey...I shrunk the bonsai...A bit of a yawner. I need something to stir the imagination. If we are doing a scroll then lets do a scroll!  :o


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