Winning Shohin at Noelanders / EBA 2017

There are awards given at Noelanders Trophy and EBA as it is a tradition. Within the next days (starting sometime next week after a work travel to Berlin), I will comment on some of the entries. That will not be a judging, but a description of selected displays where I hope the words can give something extra to the experience of viewing a shohin display.

It is important to differ between a display set up for a competition exhibition, and a private or a tokonoma display. The exhibition display has to do with presenting the trees for judging best possible. The overall display must be in harmony and each tree be in best possible condition appealing and convincing the viewer.

A private or a tokonoma display is set up for a different viewing experience. It has not the goal of impressing as its main purpose, but still telling a story, often more silently. Here trees might be used that are not of the same character as the ones chosen for an exhibition and to be judged. It can be a tree with a more downplayed expression and a much more melancholic expression. Competitions often forces more colour and a vibrant expression than the tokonoma display. The tokonoma display is oppositely requiring a more silent and peaceful show of nature and the time of year, and in a freer form than the traditional used at exhibitions. It might even be almost vanishing and humble in its expression.

To the shohin winners at Noelanders and EBA 2017. Classic 7 point displays was chosen. Again it is Rita and Mark Cooper who wins (third time in a row) the prestigious first place at Noelanders. Congratulations 🙂

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Pinus parvifolia, Trachelospermum asiaticum `Nana`, Pyracantha augustifolia, Acer palmatum, Zelkova serrata, Juiperus chinensis `Itoigawa` – Rita and Mark Cooper wins the first place.

Noelanders nominee goes to Jose Acuna Croz.

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Pinus thunbergii, Ligustrum obtisifolium, Pyracantha angustifolia, Premna angustifolia, Premna japonica, Eleagnus pungens – Jose Acuña Cruz.

The EBA awarded Bruno Wijman for a simple shohin display.

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Juniperus chinensis `Itoigawa´ – Bruno Wijman. EBA award.

 

Tokonoma night lights

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Tokonoma version 2.0 Now light is installed in the outdoor Tokonoma, finished this summer for enjoying bonsai viewing. This makes it possible to make a display in the evenings during the darker periods of autumn. Displayed is a not yet finished Japanese maple, but chosen for the autumn leaves change.

Video – passion for bonsai

Photographer and video journalist Nicolai Brix from http://www.b-visuals.dk has shot a beautiful 2. min. piece about my passion for bonsai. (With English subtitles).

Beneath the video a few photos from the recordings in the garden, and the finished bonsai I worked on during the movie.

 

 

New Tokonoma

Just finished building a new Tokonoma in my bonsai garden. A place for relaxing and enjoying the beauty of bonsai. The Tokonoma (床の間, toko-no-ma), or just toko (床), is a special niche used to set up items to appreciate. Seen in Japanese reception rooms, at temples, and at bonsai gardens. In a private house, the Tokonoma may be used for decorations when celebrating New Year and other occassions, as well as a welcome gesture to visitors.

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In the world of bonsai the size often is the size of a tatami mat. 90 X 180 cm, but this varies depending on design. My Tokonoma is build as a center point in the bonsai garden, and can be watched from inside the house as well.

I will use it on a daily basis, but especially for visitors, who can enjoy the beauty of bonsai when visiting our garden. Using the Tokonoma also sharpens my senses of appreciating the beauty of bonsai art.

The landscape painting references

The way bonsai are displayed in a Tokonoma / alcove, is also closely related to the landscape paintings. Therefore the expression and the mood of a bonsai display is always is some extend related to the landscape painting, and time of year. Even the time of the day may be considered. An evening mood with a low sun at a scroll painting can suggest this, or the moon in the night gives the feeling of the cool night e.g.

Having the landscape painting in mind when setting up a bonsai display makes it easier to arrange, read and understand. Referring to the landscape painting, is not only the way trees, grasses, flowers, mountains i.e. can be used as elements through the use of bonsai, accent plantings, Suiseki (viewing stones), scroll painting or accessories, but also the empty space is an important feature. The empty space is that extra element of the untold that is both present in the painting and the bonsai display. The empty space expands the untold part of the story and the imagination fills in the rest and adds the important peacefulness to the picture.

This can all be done in a very modest and simple way, like it can be done with a fuller image with more elements, but always with the lightness and simplicity of the open spaces and landscape paintings elements in mind.

Now this area with bonsai Tokonoma may be were it will be easy to find me in future.