Author Topic: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic  (Read 10967 times)

Hotaction

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2010, 11:40 AM »
Here is a comparison I just thought of.  Imagine 3 little puppies bought by three different owners.  This first one is brought home by a nice family to be a loving member of the family.  The second is destined to become one of the best hunting dogs on the planet.  the third little pup finds his way into the life of a drug-sniffing cop dog.  All three are dogs, and all are beautiful creatures, but the reason why they ended up that way can be very different. 

By the way, the 4th one is a cat ??? now that just doesn't make sense no matter how you look at it.

Dave
 

John Kirby

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2010, 03:09 PM »
Dave,
Now I get where you are coming from, I think the issue of technique does get confused with philosophy and heritage issues.

I like the more traditional approach, using simple more "clean" pots and styling. Probably just a reflection of what I have learned from my teacher- and one that I find myself continuing to appreciate as I move forward.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2010, 03:13 PM »
Here is a comparison I just thought of.  ... All three are dogs, and all are beautiful creatures, but the reason why they ended up that way can be very different. 

Being a dog person, I kept getting caught up in the whats of your comparison, rather than the whys.  Upon re-reading, I have to admit, that's a pretty apt comparison ...coming from someone who doesn't like to wear pants.
 

joe cervantes

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2010, 07:50 PM »
very cool thread. Heres one for you. Karate and Kung Fu pre Bruce Lee, post Bruce Lee.  Japanese , Chinese. East, West! Bonsai is Bonsai no matter who you are. You just make it your own and you keep growing as you do it. Just do it. Hope that made sense.
 

mcpesq817

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2010, 10:51 AM »
This is interesting.  i am neither born in the US nor Japan.  i have studied bonsai in Japan.  My teacher taught me to study nature and bring the structure and feeling of the same specie to create your tree.  Japanese tree use nature as their basic practice.
you will be better artist if you pic and study good trees.  there are lots of bad trees in the forest.  if you pick the bad one to be your model.  can you imagine what the final product will be? 
here are the model that i pick.  i use the same principal to teach also

first pic is the pine tree in the sierra
second is the sierra juniper
third is a group of sierra juniper

Hi Boon - thanks for sharing these pictures and the ones in your next post.  Those pictures speak a thousand words.
 

Mike Pollock

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2010, 10:55 AM »
I agree with what John Kirby said (that Boon said) that there are only good bonsai or bad bonsai. I believe it also extends to why and how people do bonsai. The best trees from all traditions do have a habit of looking alike. And the best practitioners of bonsai probably have a lot of techniques and motivations in common too.

I didn't see a famous American bonsai curmudgeon getting into any fights at Ginko. :) He may not have liked all of the trees, but he seemed to get along with the people...

Most of the disagreements seem to me to come from people who talk bonsai a lot and do bonsai somewhat less.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2010, 11:00 AM »
Most of the disagreements seem to me to come from people who talk bonsai a lot and do bonsai somewhat less.

OUCH!  How do you really feel Mike?   ;D

With rare exception, your statement seems to be true though.
 

Mike Pollock

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2010, 11:06 AM »
LOL.  I'm really not speaking about anyone in particular, it just seems to be that the busiest and best bonsaiists don't seem to be very active speaking OR THINKING about these issues.  They spend their time working on and teaching about trees.

I'd love to do a presentation someday showing trees and having people guess their origin and "styling theory." If we could find great trees that people had never seen before (almost impossible theses days), I bet it would be hard to tell most great European trees from great Japanese trees, etc.  I know I've seen "Naturalistic" trees in Kokufu books. And of course we see many Japanese-feeling trees from Western artists.

The whole argument seems much ado about nothing.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2010, 11:10 AM »
Interesting that another Shakespeareism came to my mind:

"A rose by any other name..."

Classify them how you want, they're still good or bad.
 

Walter_Pall

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2010, 11:51 AM »

Iit is futile to classify food. There is only good or bad food.
It is futile to classify music. There is only good or bad music.
It is futile to classify paintings. There are only good or bad paintings.

 

John Kirby

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2010, 02:43 PM »
Walter, glad you chipped in. There are very good clasification schemes (that sometimes work) for music, painting and food. I have yet to see a well defined classificarion scheme that is generally acscepted in bonsai.

I was playing an old album from "The Band" last weekend, my wife said that is an interesting country group, who are they. i said "The Band, you know, the guys who played back up for Bob Dylan in the 60's". Sometimes even well acceptee standards have some exceptions.
 

Alain Bertrand

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2010, 02:48 AM »
Some feel that it must be approached from that Japanese Ideology.  I disagree, do it however you want, there is no right or wrong.

I think that you're very entitled to disagree as most of the so-called  « Japanese Ideology » debated in the west is more the result of some westerners' imagination than truly Japanese.
 

Hotaction

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2010, 12:57 PM »
Some feel that it must be approached from that Japanese Ideology.  I disagree, do it however you want, there is no right or wrong.

I think that you're very entitled to disagree as most of the so-called  « Japanese Ideology » debated in the west is more the result of some westerners' imagination than truly Japanese.

Alain, I think you might have just hit the nail on the head. 
 

boon

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2010, 01:48 AM »
Bonsai is bonsai, a Japanese traditional art. 

All on this forum is interested in this art form.

Your new "club" is probably not going to be bonsai.

I applaud your effort and honesty, but please respect this site-"Bonsai Study Group Simply Bonsai".
 

bonsaikc

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Re: Bonsai and the Japanese aesthetic
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2010, 12:47 PM »
Bonsai is bonsai, a Japanese traditional art. 

All on this forum is interested in this art form.

Your new "club" is probably not going to be bonsai.

I applaud your effort and honesty, but please respect this site-"Bonsai Study Group Simply Bonsai".


Boon,
That's as simple as it gets. While there is room for differences in terminology, the art we discuss and practice here is Bonsai.

Chris