Some interesting Japanese stands

Bonsai Nut

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I thought I would post some photos from the 18th 樹八会 Bonsai Exhibition in Anjo City held March 4th and 5th 2006. I wish the photos were larger in scale to show more details, but I think they are great examples of the power of choosing the proper stand to display your bonsai. Hopefully these will help get those creative juices flowing (or wallets opening).





 

irene_b

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Aw damm those are sweet!
Mom
 

Rick Moquin

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The marriage is fantastic. I'm not sure I would have placed the accent of the first picture on the right. Displays are subjective and I welcome any comments, why the accent was placed on the right vice the left?
 
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The marriage is fantastic. I'm not sure I would have placed the accent of the first picture on the right. Displays are subjective and I welcome any comments, why the accent was placed on the right vice the left?
I am with you on this one, Rick. The movement of the tree is decidedly to the left, and so outght to be placed on the right. Some may rail about rules here, but this is a commonly accepted convention of all composition in all visual arts.
 

Rick Moquin

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I hear you Chris and can't disagree with a supporter, but what I am really after (education purpose) is why the accent is one the right. Please folks no BS, I have an idea I am extending the question to the folks in the know.
 
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The second picture....

The accent is way out of place and much too big and too high, raising above the height of the stand which the bonsai sits on. Although on the proper side, it appears to be a last minute thought that was crowed in and lends nothing to the display, except a loss of porportion. The accent also does not support the winter image presented by the tree. The stand is too big for this tree and pot.


The third picture...

Well done display, the board the accent sits on looks a little contrived and is slightly out of line with the bonsai stand, being tilted just a tad from horizontal. The accent pot is too close in color to the bonsai pot. Good summer display, although a stand that appeared slightly sturdier, read thicker legs, would work better with this tree.


As to the first picture, I guess we will leave that to those in the know.



Will
 
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Bonsai Nut

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I am with you on this one, Rick. The movement of the tree is decidedly to the left, and so outght to be placed on the right. Some may rail about rules here, but this is a commonly accepted convention of all composition in all visual arts.
Ahhhh... and so we have a discussion :)

I like the accent on the right. The artist could just as easily have placed it on the left, but then the composition would be an almost perfect equilateral triangle. While some would call it quiet, calm, balanced, in this case I would think it would be a boring composition.

Maybe it is just me, but the accent on the right greatly enhances the void space on the left side of the bonsai. The composition is out of balance; you feel the tree leaning into the void and your eye is drawn to the left...

I really like it :)
 

irene_b

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I agree with you Greg.....
I find the image most pleasing with the flow from Right to Left on this one.
The first focus is on the accent and then the tree draws you into itself like a staircase.
Mom
 
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Rick Moquin

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Ahhhh... and so we have a discussion :)

I like the accent on the right. The artist could just as easily have placed it on the left, but then the composition would be an almost perfect equilateral triangle. While some would call it quiet, calm, balanced, in this case I would think it would be a boring composition.

Maybe it is just me, but the accent on the right greatly enhances the void space on the left side of the bonsai. The composition is out of balance; you feel the tree leaning into the void and your eye is drawn to the left...

I really like it :)
So do I (on the right) Yes we are exchanged in a discussion and I support your opinion and it does present some merit. The negative space on the left does make the composition asymetrical, hence not boring. Although perhaps not as calm, the objects are not in conflict. That is the point I would like to discuss further.

I would presume this display was put together by folks in the "know" so to speak. I am trying to discuss the rationale behind it.
 
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I like the accent on the right. The artist could just as easily have placed it on the left, but then the composition would be an almost perfect equilateral triangle.
Assuming the distance between the two pieces is kept the same, of course.

Here is an alternative to discuss.

Mother shielding daughter?

Shy daughter hiding behind mother?
 

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Attila Soos

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This is an iteresting discussion.

If bonsai is an art form, it makes no sense that the accent plant is automatically placed on the left side, or the side toward which the tree is moving. If this was the case, it would require no thinking, a robot could do it. What kind of art is this, where a machine can make a decision, and the author has no choice? If the accent plant is always on the same side, this sounds dangerously like a typical craftsman's mass-made product.

On the other hand,
We can look at the difference in the feeling the display evokes, when placing the accent on either side:

When placing it on the left side, the accent and tree "talk" to each-other, one could say that they are greeting each-other. When the accent is on the right side, it looks like the tree is "leaving" the accent (it looks away), and the accent is "trying to call him back: wait, don't leave". One display is playful and happy, the other one has more tension and a touch of gloom.

It is the artist's choice to choose the one he/she prefers.

P.S.: I think this is the problem when people see bonsai as guided by "rules". It is the wrong approach, since rules have to be respected. It's nothing but craft. On the other hand, people who see bonsai as guided by "common sense", have the freedom to make their trees (and displays) whatever they want them to be. To them, the guidelines are only helpful tools, and never a hindrance.
 
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Rick Moquin

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What I see from the accent on the right is the accent looking up at her mother and sibbling. So that is what I'll be like when I grow up.
 

Attila Soos

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What I see from the accent on the right is the accent looking up at her mother and sibbling. So that is what I'll be like when I grow up.
I like that, it's another good interpretation.

Morten Albek said in one of his posts about displays, that displaying bonsai should be never a right or wrong approach, but rather a playful exercise of one's creativity and imagination (P.S: this is not a verbatime quote).
 

Attila Soos

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...when I look at a painting in a museum, I never think about how could I make it better. Instead, I think about what the painting evokes in me.

Bonsai and bonsai display should be just the same..
 
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Attila,

Rules is the wrong word, it suggests that one would be breaking such if they are not followed exactly.

Displays should be arranged based on sound artistic priniciples, the basics of which can be found in any successful work of art. To ignore these priniciples is futile, they work, they have always worked, they always will work. From the earilest pieces of art to those being created today, these same basic prinicples can be found over and over again. Take for example, the golden section, a priciple that, knowingly or not, is used for successful placement of trees in pots, to placement of objects in a display area. Why? It works. One is not required to consider such priciples, but it is rare indeed to find something that works without them.

Display is not subjective at all, negative space, color, direction of movement, flow of lines, seasons, etc etc etc all must be considered for a display to be successful. There are endless cominationsof these priciples that could be arranged, but in the end, the successful display incorporates them.




Will
 
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Attila Soos

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Displays should be arranged based on sound artistic priniciples
I agree.

But placing the accent to the right side, vs the left side, does NOT break, in itself, any artistic principle. It just changes the dynamics and feeling of the display. If properly designed, the display with the accent on the right can be just as good as with the accent on the left.

The difference is, that the distances and placements, relative to the visual center of the display, have to be organized differently (remember The Principle of the Steelyard display from the AoB).

Artistic principle have nothing to do with the subject matter of the display. The artist has a choice to express static balance, dynamic balance, harmony, tension, and whatever else he pleases. But in each case, the objects and the space between them need to be organized and divided differently throughout the surface of the display - based on the artistic principles that you've mentioned.
 

Attila Soos

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Here is a simple example from painting:

A painter can show a scene where two people meet each other. The visual flow goes from one person to the other one, and from there, the eyes of the viewer are sent back to the first person. The two people are "playing ping-pong" with the eyes of the viewer. Our eyes are kept around the center of the display.

In another scene, the two people are leaving each-other. Here, the eyes of the viewer are drawn from the person who says goodbye, to the person who leaves, and from there, the viewer will look away into the horizon, ready to exit the scene.

There is no artistic principle saying that the two people have to look toward each other and "talk" to each other.

It is very dangerous to confuse "subject" or "story line" with artistic principles.
 
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Assuming the distance between the two pieces is kept the same, of course.

Here is an alternative to discuss.

Mother shielding daughter?

Shy daughter hiding behind mother?
I think Wills virtual has captured what I was trying to say. Of course the accent should be at least that far away from the main tree.
 
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Attila,

This is where we differ, a good display should keep the viewers eyes "in" the display and not send them out into the horizon. The same principle applies to bonsai design.


Will
 
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