Auction Bonsai of the Month - September, 2007

Bonsai Nut

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Rock Planting, Yahoo! Auction Japan
 

Bonsai Nut

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For a change of pace, this month we will be featuring an interesting rock planting from Yahoo! Auction Japan (Osaka prefecture). There isn't a lot of info on the planting, unfortunately, except to point out that the black pine has been carefully tended to assimilate with the rock, and that the photos are up-to-date.

Starting bid is $175. "Buy It Now" price is $307.







 
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I like the rock.

I don't like the pot the rock is in.

The minature ferns are nice, I would mind having them.

The tree is swollen and grotesque in need of serious work.

I won't comment on the price.:rolleyes:


Will
 
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I like the rock.

I don't like the pot the rock is in.

The minature ferns are nice, I would mind having them.

The tree is swollen and grotesque in need of serious work.

I won't comment on the price.:rolleyes:
Will

I'm not sure what you are seeing that I don't see as to the tree. It needs a good wiring and arrangement, and then I think you would see a very nice composition. Of course these things are impossible to know for sure without seeing them n person.
 
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Take a look at the last picture once again, it needs slightly more than wiring, I'm afraid.


Will
 

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Take a look at the last picture once again, it needs slightly more than wiring, I'm afraid.

The pine is obviously the weak point of the composition, but I am optimistic that you could shape it in a couple of years to work much better in its location. It looks similar to me like a tree that has been recently afixed to the stone and let grow "wild" for a season to regain strength - almost pre-bonsai. I think the rest of the planting technique is excellent - including the placement of the roots, the moss, etc. The ferns look especially nice - I wonder if that orange color is seasonal or natural?
 

Graydon

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The tree is swollen and grotesque in need of serious work.
Will

And that is bad in bonsai because...?

I'm guessing it's a nishiki cultivar of sorts. The bark looks corky (swollen and grotesque) and not plated.

Nice little composition. I like the lighter with the measuring markings on it.
 
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And that is bad in bonsai because...?

Not bad in bonsai, unless it is in the wrong places.


Why would you say this is selling at such a cheap price in Japan?




Will
 

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Not bad in bonsai, unless it is in the wrong places.


Why would you say this is selling at such a cheap price in Japan?

Will

I am not saying there might be nothing wrong with this tree. My point is that there is not enough information. If there is nothing wrong more than what we can see here, I think it could become a nice little tree.
 

Attila Soos

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I would love to have this for $300.

I like the fact that it is not wired or styled, it gives a lot of opportunity for the buyer to make a great little lanscape out of it.

A wider and shallower tray or slab would greatly improve it.

Great tree for an on-line auction, for someone who wants to work on it.

In fact, as soon as you give the tree a decent wiring and styling, I am confident that you could throw it back to the auction block for double of the price ($600). Not a bad return for a couple of hours of work.
 
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anttal63

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attila i agree 100% but i cant help help asking the question too. why so cheap. and why doesnt this guy want to double his or her money? Will wots the go what are you thinking?
 

Attila Soos

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attila i agree 100% but i cant help help asking the question too. why so cheap. and why doesnt this guy want to double his or her money? Will wots the go what are you thinking?

First the cheap part:

In Japan, this is considered low quality bonsai. It is unrefined and not too old. Unlike here in the West, there are countless mass-producing growers in Japan who can produce this kind of bonsai. Since the Japanese market is flooded with this type of material, it is very reasonably priced. I've seen comparatibly priced Japanese bonsai on the internet over and over again.
However, high quality, refined, and old bonsai skyrocket in price, to amounts that nobody would pay here.

Here in the West, the price structure is entirely different. Since there are relatively few growers, the price of decent material is rather high. But, unlike in Japan, the price of high quality bonsai would never go near the prices seen in Japan.

So, basically the price of bonsai material in Japan is much cheaper than in the West, but the price of high quality bonsai is much more expensive.

As far as why this guy doesn't want to double his money:

One reason could be that he has too many of these, it is not economically feasible to go beyond a certain level of refinement, he wants high volume and low price business.

Other possible reason: he is not a bonsai artist and doesn't know how to improve it.
 

Taylor Brown

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I have a questopn. So does this mean we have cheap or bad bonsai here. If there junk is something that everyone in America gets excited about? Does that mean we don't know what we are doing or talking about:eek:
 

irene_b

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I have a questopn. So does this mean we have cheap or bad bonsai here. If there junk is something that everyone in America gets excited about? Does that mean we don't know what we are doing or talking about:eek:



Good questions Taylor!

I don't think that's the answer.
With America so large and Bonsaiist spread so far apart in areas and since there are so few growers of these pines and unlike Japan where we rarely see Bonsai passed from Generation to Generation I think that we as Americans will spend the money just to get a tree that was grown that way....
When Americans start taking Bonsai into the Generational I feel we will have a major change in how it is viewed.
Irene
 
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I have a questopn. So does this mean we have cheap or bad bonsai here. If there junk is something that everyone in America gets excited about? Does that mean we don't know what we are doing or talking about:eek:

Very observant. These questions on the state of American bonsai as compared to other countries can and have opened up a can of worms on many occasions. One such debate led to the creation of the North American vs European contest over at AoB not long ago....

Instead of posting opinions and starting another huge debate, let me answer yuor questions with a few of my own.

What is more valuable, an original art work or a copy of the orginal?

Thinking of that, if the Japanese never moved off of what they learned from the Chinese? What if they now were only producing copies of Chinese bonsai? Would they be as valuable?

America owes Japan for introducing bonsai to us, just as Japan owes China for the same....we need to stop copying the Japanese and start creating American Bonsai, only then will our own hearts be shown and only then will they have a world reconized value. Seriously why buy an American copy of a Japanese bonsai when you can buy the real thing?


Jujst my thoughts,



Will
 

Attila Soos

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...we need to stop copying the Japanese and start creating American Bonsai, only then will our own hearts be shown and only then will they have a world reconized value. Seriously why buy an American copy of a Japanese bonsai when you can buy the real thing?

I don't think that we are purposely trying to copy Japanese bonsai, when we buy a material like this one and try to make a good bonsai out of it.
When I see people styling trees at workshops, I do not have the impression that they are trying to copy anything. They just use what they learned from their teachers and apply it to create the best bonsai they can. If I told them that they shouldn't copy Japanese bonsai, they wouldn't know what to make out of my statement. Telling them to stop making Japanese bonsai and start creating American ones wouldn't mean anything. They'd probably say: what do you mean? No foliage pads? No apex and no triangles?
 
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I don't think that we are purposely trying to copy Japanese bonsai, when we buy a material like this one and try to make a good bonsai out of it.
When I see people styling trees at workshops, I do not have the impression that they are trying to copy anything. They just use what they learned from their teachers and apply it to create the best bonsai they can. If I told them that they shouldn't copy Japanese bonsai, they wouldn't know what to make out of my statement. Telling them to stop making Japanese bonsai and start creating American ones wouldn't mean anything. They'd probably say: what do you mean? No foliage pads? No apex and no triangles?

I couldn't agree more, Attila! By the time someone gets to a level that they might understand what you are asking of them, there is no more reason to ask. I think this whole kind of a topic is overblown to the point of silliness. Most Americans won't take the time to learn the basics, or if they want to, can't find someone to teach them. They've been doing it their own way for 20, 30, or 50 years and are so proud of their status that they consider themselves masters. But look at their trees. Some who have been in this so many years have never shown an artistic bonsai. Healthy, yes, and showing some wonderful technique, but not artistic.

I am thinking of pagoda-branches that alternate to the sky, poorly shaped nebari and trunks with intense ramification, and trees with years of care that still seem like nursery stock. If these are the masters, woe to the one who wants to learn.

Are we copying Japanese trees? What does that mean? Can you point a tree out to me and say, "That's a Japanese original that you are copying?" Or "That's just a copy of a Japanese style?"

I think the answer is, those who slavishly follow certain "rules" laid down a generation ago by certain iconic figures should open their eyes that great trees don't necessarily follow "first branch, second branch, back branch" instructions. Those are for babies in the art. We can't stay there forever. We have to learn from the material.
 

Attila Soos

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I think the answer is, those who slavishly follow certain "rules" laid down a generation ago by certain iconic figures should open their eyes that great trees don't necessarily follow "first branch, second branch, back branch" instructions. Those are for babies in the art. We can't stay there forever. We have to learn from the material.


You summed up pretty well the issue, in the above quote and the rest of your post.
 

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