Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bonsai Display Critique #3

This is a critique of a display at the Toko Kazari competition at the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in 2011. Picture was provided to me by Bob Hilvers, Bonsai Curator at the CCJAC. The revised picture and written critique is provided by Kuzuhara (Family Name) Hiroyuki (First Name) Ikkou is the name given to him by his display society upon reaching shihan rank.
Original Display:

Photoshopped Display:

This is also a well constructed display. It is like a Bunjin Styled Ezo Matsu, (The owner of the tree told me it was not an Ezo Matsu, but I forget the actual tree), but the imagery of the branches on the thin trunk growing down by the natural weight of snow is very easy to see in the display of this tree. Within the three trunks, one trunk exhibits the stress of nature and resembles the bones after a buddhist funeral pyre.

The accent and the scroll are very good and right on target, but there is one point that came to my attention. That was the use of the pot and table.
A round, shallow pot works best for thin trunk trees that are considerably taller. The depth of the pot and the trunk thickness is an example to use as a comparison in display. The general rule I follow is a shallow pot for a thin trunk and a little deeper pot for a thick trunk, with deepest pots for Kengai etc.

For this display, rather than using a mid height table (中卓) I think this display would harmonize better utilizing a Jiita. (See the attached picture) By using the Jiita, it changes the tree to look more alive, the entire display scene to become widened and improves slightly an already wonderful display. This particular set up also pairs better with the Shin (formal) classification of the tree type, with the Sou (informal) styling of the tree.

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