Display Challenge 003

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Considering the great discussion we had on the other display challenges, I thought I would continue with another example of bonsai display and post it for discussion, although this is a completely different example meant to create different discussion.

Again, here I would like to see more than just statements that people like it, don't like it, that it is great, or bad. If you like it, tell us why, if you don't like it, tell us why.

In short, study it, understand why it appeals to you or doesn't and share these thoughts with us. Why does it work, why doesn't it? Could it be improved? How?

The following display is hot-linked from the Bonsai Today / Art of Bonsai - Photo Contest.


Bonsai, Accent, Display, and Photography by Johnny Eslykke.
 

BonsaiWes

Mame
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I like the tree overall but the shape of the main trunk is a killer for me, the rainbow style curve looks fake/man made, unexciting. I also wish there was a bit more tapering off of foliage toward the end, the endmost branches carry it seems more foliage than the main branches. It gives the tree a powderpuff feel right at the end which didn't enter into my thoughts previsouly. I think to improve the piece I would seek to "rough up" the tree without remodleing, adding some drama or intrest to the trunk line and figuring out the solution to loosing a little of the pad effect overall on the tree. With the picture being so dark I don't really see this as a display, I hardly notice the accent while just sitting in front of the moniter.
 
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Good observations.

I am curious as to your statement about not seeing this as a display because I actually felt this was a pretty nice example of a two point display with excellent communication between the accent and the tree.

How would you make this seem like more of a display?




Will
 

head_cutter

Yamadori
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I would have to say I like it.

As a person with an eye for design it has mostly good things about it. It's in a mostly typical formal Japanese design, there is an elegent-flowing movement which captures your eye and leads you through the tree. This gives you a calm feeling of gentleness as you view it. I realize how much work went into it and the appeal is in the several, well managed foliage pads, rather than seeing a few 'slabs' of it.

Bob
 
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I tried to follow your link and see the full-sized photo, but got this error message instead:

The Page You Are Looking For Doesn't Exist

What you're looking for is not here...so look somewhere else


However, from the smaller size you have shown us, I do not see much to recommend this display. To me, the tree looks entirely artificial, as if the trunk were made from plaster. The curves are too smooth, too man-made. The foliage pads seem to be glued on. The movement is too much and curves in front of the pot and then back again, and the apex is far too upright to give any sense to the tree.



Leaving the tree alone, however, this display itself seems to be a Photoshop collection of two elements. In other words, it seems to be floating in space rather than occupying real space and time as any bonsai display should. It has no frame of reference, or even a frame for that matter. This idea is made more emphatic as the table legs disappear into the inkiness of the background.



The accent plant seems to be some kind of desert succulent, and seems to be on a separate stage or platform, which separates it from the image of the tree. As a whole, the two do not seem to go together, with the cascade juniper (artificial as it might be) supposing a height, with the succulent suggesting something hugging the ground. Without some frame of reference, i.e. scroll, tokonoma, or display area, I find the whole thing quite jarring.
 

Yamadori

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My first impression is that I am looking at a serpent sliding down stealthfully preparing to strike at it's prey(accent plant). That bottom pad looks like the serpent head. It is kind of interesting how I see this motion and I feel like the serpent will strike at any moment.
 

rockm

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This tree and accent look like they're out of Dr. Seuss, to me anyway. So many things look just a little off-kilter and conflicted.

The tree and accent plant are pretty far from traditional. This overall image is kind of whimsical to me. The alien image of the low-growing succulent accent plant --which suggests a desert--is only the start:D. The tree's sinuous trunk (especially the top) is pretty far from the traditional rugged alpine image. The trunk also meanders without much force, suggesting a lazy river, yet the cascade arrangement in itself implies some kind of more vertical environment.

The use of a straightlaced stand with extremely long thin straight legs with a tree with such pronounced rounded curves makes the trunk stand out even more. The heavy pot on the insubstantial stand (the surface is too small visually) makes me uneasy.
 
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