You be the judge!

Smoke

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Anyone wishing to rank the 14 photo's I just posted of the recent First Annual Toko-Kazari event at the Clark Center for Japanese Art? I have already posted who came in 123 so you would have to rank 4th thru 14.

Any takers?

Remember those remaining are some of the best artists in the USA. Yes even Kenji Miyata.

Have fun, Al
 

johng

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Thank you Al for provide some wonderful content around which we will hopefully learn a little something about display. I personally am not qualified to rank these displays but there are several I would like to comment on. But, I need one thing from you...I know you have gone to a tremendous effort to photograph these displays and the pics are excellent, but they are formatted too small to be able to make out the fine details of the scrolls and the accents. Is there anyway you could maybe upload these pictures to a host and then embed them here maybe??? I am certainly open to any solutions... I just the think the fine details are invaluable to the learning process.

Thanks,
John
 

Smoke

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Hi John and thanks for the fine words of encouragement.

a little background....
I was co chair for this event. We had about 4 months to put this thing together. I built the shoji screens that seperated the displays and also accepted each artists piece for inspection into the climate controlled museum. Organics have never been allowed in this museum and for good reason. this museum holds the largest collection of Japanese art outside of Japan. In fact there are some pieces that Japanese officials are still wondering how they made it out of the country, they are heirloom priceless pieces. They have a vault which I have seen containg well over 500 scrolls dateing back over 800 years.

On Friday many of the participants started to arrive. All soil suface had to be groomed with moss as well as covering draiange holes in every pot with modeling clay. No critters could be present and any webs, or crawlly things would be cause for disqualification. We could not afford for a silverfish or pill bug to get into a vault full of 800 year old scrolls or screens or rattan or books of which they are famous for. (I have access to all of this since I am on the board of advisors)

As the trees came in I was taking pictures of each individual element so I could post all the closeups for discussion. As judeging time came near and displays were changed for last minute details, I just ran out of time for doing all the photo work. As far as posting larger photo's it would make no difference since they would be no larger since they are offered here at 800 pixels across the large side and I shot these pictures from as far as 20 feet to capture all of the display.

I can add some narration if needed to give you the feeling if asked on individual pieces.
 

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Smoke

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I will be writing a large article about Keido display.

Put aside what you think you know about display.
Put aside all the ballyhooed millimeter here inch there crapola
Put aside trying to overthink what "real" bonsai display is all about

Look at the displays again and close eyes, look again wait for the Yoin


...then write what you think you know....

have fun
 
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I will be writing a large article about Keido display.

Put aside what you think you know about display.
Put aside all the ballyhooed millimeter here inch there crapola
Put aside trying to overthink what "real" bonsai display is all about

Look at the displays again and close eyes, look again wait for the Yoin


...then write what you think you know....

have fun
Al,
Yer killin' me here. Everyone knows display is about minutiae. Isn't it?
 

pdbacos

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What I really enjoy about these displays are the different contexts within which each bonsai is presented.

With some displays, I am aware of a narrative: the title of the display evokes a story and my mind wants to connect each of the elements of the display with the story.

With other displays, I am more aware of a kind of visual counterpoint: how the contrasting natures of each element plays off of the other elements. Some of the juxtapositions resonate with each other, others contrast.

And with others, I am more aware of the placement of the elements: I suspect that many people are reacting to this aspect of the displays when they speak about the placement of a scroll or the choice of an accent. (I rather like the tension that some of the artists introduce into their displays because of the unbalanced or unexpected placement of their elements to lend emphasis and draw one's focus.) For me, that is only one aspect of what is being presented. For me, what may be just as interesting is an idea that the artist may or may not be conveying.

The idea that a simple scroll might suggest a distant background filled with sky, that a kusamono might convey an entire field of grass is fascinating. The sparseness of some of the displays reminds of the spareness of haiku in which I can recreate in my mind a narrative from the suggestion of a poet's carefully chosen words. "What is most important cannot be seen."

One last thought: I like the idea of the impermanence of these displays; that these compositions are ephemeral and that the elements might be put in different contexts; that the bonsai will continue to grow and change, just as an observer might continue to grow and change. The artist's meaning might not be apparent to the observer at the first viewing, or perhaps the observer apprehends a meaning different from what the artist intends. I'm not a student of aesthetics, but I think the idea of an artist using objects to convey a subject---of objective and subjective modes of expression---
might be an interesting way to regard (maybe even meditate on) these compositions....

I wish I had the right words....

P

PS: Perhaps I should start a new thread, but I wonder if there are other people here who are practioners of any other art forms whether they are visual arts, language arts or performing arts; as professionals, amateurs or even dilettantes. I find it fascinating that many of the same issues I encounter in my field are also applicable to many other fields. Although the technical aspects may differ in detail, some of the larger issues are applicable in many different disciplines.
 
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