Near the Top of the Bonsai & Penjing Pantheons

penjing copy

This remarkable planting by Kuanghua Hsiao belongs somewhere near the top of the Penjing pantheon.

Getting a very late start today, so we’ll take the quick and easy way out and show you this post from January, 2016 (with a little value added today). I think it’s worth another look anyway.

Just two remarkable photos today. It’s not that often you see two bonsai by the same person, each so completely different from the other and each among the best you’ll see anywhere. I found both photos here.

Continued below…

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Kuanghua Hsiao

Speaking of pantheons, this one has to be somewhere near the top of great deciduous bonsai. It was posted on facebook by the same Kuanghua Hsiao (above), but no indication of the type tree or other details.

penjingcu

Cropped to get a closer look at the sailboats and other details

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Bill’s Photos from the Zhongguo Feng Penjing Exhibition

billmain2

It's hard to tell how large this tree is, but I'd guess that it's fairly substantial. No matter how large or small, it's a powerful twin trunk juniper with excellent taper, fluid lines and deadwood that's just right (substantial, but not overdone). I borrowed this and the other photos shown here from some shots Bill Valavanis took at the 4th Zhongguo Feng Penjing Exhibition

Just in case you’re wondering, we’re reposting this blog with a different title due to a problem on social media (fb). You can consider it an experiment

Even before Bill Valavanis was inducted into the U.S. Bonsai Hall of Fame (see our post from one week ago), we always tried to keep track of what he was up to. In this case he was taking photos at the recent 4th Zhongguo Feng Penjing Exhibition at the International Garden City in Rugao, China. You can see more bonsai from this exhibition and other exotic and not-so-exotic destinations on Bill’s Welcome to My Bonsai World blog

Continued below…

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billmain

Again, it's hard to tell the size, but this one looks very substantial. It reminds me of some of the ancient Bristlecone pines in California's White Mountains

Continued from above…
To quote our famous Mr Valavanis… “I was very pleased to see this exhibition, as it was different from others I’ve seen in China. There were a wide range of different styles and sizes represented which presented an interesting balance, something for everyone. I was told it “almost” represented all the different styles of bonsai in China. Some of the bonsai were huge, while most were of average size. But I believe there were more individual shohin bonsai than larger trees. The only reason I’m in one of the photos is for size comparison, but remember, I’m not that tall. Good things come in small sizes. Compare the prices of small bonsai containers to larger pots”.

Continued below…

billwbill

Even without Bill for contrast, there's no denying that this is a big bonsai. Here's what Bill wrote about this photo... "The only reason I’m in one of the photos is for size comparison, but remember, I’m not that tall. Good things come in small sizes"

billrobert

This one looks familiar, but Google's image search only turns up Bill's post. Almost looks like a Robert Steven tree...

More from Bill… “As in most of the exhibitions I’ve attended in China, the opening ceremony and first day were extremely crowded and made it difficult to photograph the exhibition. But on the third day one could roll a bowling ball through the exhibition and not hit a single person. On the first day seven busses were necessary to move people from our beautiful and comfortable hotel to the exhibition. On our last day, everyone fit in one bus.

billbig

A deciduous monster

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billdec

Another massive deciduous tree

billror

Pomegranate root-over-rock

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Bill’s Bonsai Photos at the Zhongguo Feng Penjing Exhibition

billmain2

It's hard to tell how large this tree is, but I'd guess that it's fairly substantial. No matter how large or small, it's a powerful twin trunk juniper with excellent taper, fluid lines and deadwood that's just right (substantial, but not overdone). I borrowed this and the other photos shown here from some shots Bill Valavanis took at the 4th Zhongguo Feng Penjing Exhibition

Even before Bill Valavanis was inducted into the U.S. Bonsai Hall of Fame (see our post from one week ago), we always tried to keep track of what he was up to. In this case he was taking photos at the recent 4th Zhongguo Feng Penjing Exhibition at the International Garden City in Rugao, China. You can see more bonsai from this exhibition and other exotic and not-so-exotic destinations on Bill’s Welcome to My Bonsai World blog

Continued below…

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billmain

Again, it's hard to tell the size, but this one looks very substantial. It reminds me of some of the ancient Bristlecone pines in California's White Mountains

Continued from above…
To quote our famous Mr Valavanis… “I was very pleased to see this exhibition, as it was different from others I’ve seen in China. There were a wide range of different styles and sizes represented which presented an interesting balance, something for everyone. I was told it “almost” represented all the different styles of bonsai in China. Some of the bonsai were huge, while most were of average size. But I believe there were more individual shohin bonsai than larger trees. The only reason I’m in one of the photos is for size comparison, but remember, I’m not that tall. Good things come in small sizes. Compare the prices of small bonsai containers to larger pots”.

Continued below…

billwbill

Even without Bill for contrast, there's no denying that this is a big bonsai. Here's what Bill wrote about this photo... "The only reason I’m in one of the photos is for size comparison, but remember, I’m not that tall. Good things come in small sizes"

billrobert

This one looks familiar, but Google's image search only turns up Bill's post. Almost looks like a Robert Steven tree...

More from Bill… “As in most of the exhibitions I’ve attended in China, the opening ceremony and first day were extremely crowded and made it difficult to photograph the exhibition. But on the third day one could roll a bowling ball through the exhibition and not hit a single person. On the first day seven busses were necessary to move people from our beautiful and comfortable hotel to the exhibition. On our last day, everyone fit in one bus.

billbig

A deciduous monster

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billdec

Another massive deciduous tree

billror

Pomegranate root-over-rock

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More Great Shots from Bonsai San

muro

The way the foliage clings to the trunk gives this tree a wild unstyled look. The deadwood and aged bark don't hurt this effect either. I lifted the photo from Harry Harrington's timeline. Here's Harry's caption... "This was one of my personal favourite trees in the Show (one of many), a Pinus mugo/Mugo Pine by Václav Novák in a Klika-Kuratkova bonsai pot."

The internet is swamped with great photos from the just completed European Bonsai San Show. Rather than attempting to show them all we’ll settle for the ones we’ve already posted (here and here) and the ones in this post that we borrowed from Harry Harrington.
Continued below…

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maple

The sturdy little Japanese maple by Andy Jordan was awarded the Best Deciduous Shohin Bonsai by Bonsai4me.com (Harry's company). Here's part of Harry's caption... "One of the (many) reasons for me deciding that this should be the awarded the prize, is the colour combination of the tree and the Koyo Tokoname bonsai pot which made a big impression."

Continued from above…
If you’d like to see more from Bonsai San here’s an excellent video by Bonsai Empire that I think you’ll enjoy. You can also visit Harry Harrington on facebook (along with countless other artists and enthusiasts who posted shots from the show)

 

showHere's a familiar tree, and here's Harry's caption... "Love this photo of my English Elm bonsai at the European Bonsai-San Show, courtesy of the show report at Bonsai Empire"

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muro3

An art shot of our lead tree (the Mugo pine above)

mugo1

Another one...

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Japanese Maple Bonsai Adventure

walter

We've been indulging our annual fall color fixation lately, so why one one more... albeit a subtle one? This Japanese maple is from Korean nursery-grown stock. We found it on Walter Pall's Bonsai Adventures blog. You might notice how the two smaller trees lend perspective and exaggerate the effect of the main tree.

Monday morning and pressed for time, so we’ll take a little shortcut. This post originally appeared one year ago today, with a little value added

Back in the mid-to-late 20th century, when the average person had no idea what the art of bonsai was, almost all bonsai in the U.S. were from landscaping nursery stock. Most were in early stages of development and most never got beyond those early stages (it was a slaughter).
Continued below…

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sizeThis shot gives a good idea of the planting's size. It's one of many shots that take us through refinement and repotting. That's Walter peaking through the branches

The three tree maple grove above is also from nursery stock, though no doubt nursery stock grown for bonsai, rather than nursery stock grown for landscaping. It’s an important distinction, though if you’re lucky you might find landscaping stock with good bonsai potential.

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Best Conifer, Best Artist, Best in Show

AItree

Andres Alvarez Iglesias just won Best Conifer, Best Artist and Best in Show for this exquisitely powerful and distinctive Scots pine at the European Bonsai San Show in Saulieu France.

Congratulations to Andres Alvarex Iglesias for a great tree and a great honor!… Here’s facebook’s translation (lightly edited) of what Andres wrote today about winning Best Conifer, Best Artist and Best in Show at the European Bonsai San Show… “It’s difficult to explain with words the feelings that I have in this moment. Thanks to every body who made it possible!!!” Andres’ original Spanish is below
Continued below…

 

AIwtree

The artist with his prize winning tree

Aquí está lo que Andrés escribió en español… “Dificil expresar con palabras los sentimientos que me acompañan en este momento. Gracias a todos, que sois muchos, los que habeis hecho posible este momento!!! Mejor Conifera grande – Mejor artista – Mejor en show.

AIwithkides

Kids and tree with proud papa

Here’s a post we did back in March that features the same tree

Magnificent Monster Scot’s Pine

pscu

This magnificent monster yamadori Scot's pine (Pinus sylvestris) belongs to Andres Alvarez Iglesias. I cropped it for a closer look. The original is below

Andres Alvarez Iglesias sent the photo above to the Bonsai Focus Golden Concave contest (see the poster just below). Judging from what I see here, there are some other very good trees (including several that we’ve featured here on Bark). They’ll need to be very good to hold up to this one.

GF

 

ps

The original with companion

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Bonsai-San as We Speak…

abmain

This unusual full cascade Juniper will no doubt put off some of our anti-deadwood folks, but to my eyes, it's a a highly expressive, dynamic tree. Cascade shots are normally taken from a point that shows the tree cascading down one side of the pot, but in this case the pot is hidden by the tree, which creates a whole different effect.

All the photos shown here were taken by Andres Bicocca at this weekend’s European Bonsai San Show in Saulieu France. Andres’ only text with the photos reads… Viaje a Francia “Saulieu 2017.”  Non of the trees or artists are identified (no blame, they were no doubt taken on the fly and I’m just happy to have them). I took the liberty of cropping all the photos and brightening some that were on the dark side.

Continued below…

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decab

I'm going to go way out on a limb (so to speak) and guess that this is a European beech. Don't quote me though (see the next caption for why you shouldn't)

 

hinab

If I were to guess, I'd say Hinoki cypress. But then I've been wrong so many times that I should be embarrassed (sometimes I am embarrassed, but I try to get over it and move on to my next mistake)

 

shimab

This one looks like a close cousin to our lead tree

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tridentab

Root-over-rock Trident maple. You can tell by the leaves and so many root-over rock bonsai are Tridents anyway

 

jbeechab

This looks a lot like a Japanese beech.

 

mainuc

Here's the tree from the top of the post. This time with the whole display

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Another Brilliant Bonsai in Full Fall Foliage & Other Famous Trees

Suthin10

Always nice to lead with a little color. This cheerful full fall color Trident maple belonged to Suthin Sukosolvisit when we first showed it way back in 2009. I don't know who the lucky owner is now.

Suthin’s luminous little tree above plays well with our ongoing fall foliage theme, while the rest of the trees shown here, play well with our long standing appreciation of Suthin’s bonsai.

Continued below…

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suthinjwp

 

hinokihalfshellThis Tsukomo cypress-on-a-half-shell was offered for sale at Suthin's big sell-down-most-of-his-bonsai sale (so he could spend more time with his grandkids) that took place last year.

 

st31Coiled Shimpaku snake. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen another full cascade bonsai quite like this one.

 

suthin6

Another Suthin Shimpaku juniper. I think this one is quite famous by now.

 

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shohinpine

A bonsai is hand is worth more than two in most collections. It's a Japanese black pine.

 

shohinsuthin

One of Suthin's prize winning Shohin displays from one of the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibitions.

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Bill Valavanis Inducted into the Bonsai Hall of Fame

BILLMAIN2

Bill Valavanis, who just last week was inducted into the U.S. Bonsai Hall of Fame is shown here with the newest donation to the U.S. National Bonsai and Penjing Museum collection. It's a Dwarf Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris R.A.F.*) that was completely container grown by Bill for over 45 years.

The other day, Bill Valavanis became only the third inductee to the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum’s National Bonsai Hall of Fame. There’s little question that they chose the right person. No one now living has done more for American bonsai than Bill Valavanis. And though there are others who deserve recognition, including some up and coming stars, as it stands right now, it’s not even close

I won’t begin to try to list Bill’s accomplishments, but what stands out most for me are the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibitions…. all five of them (with six coming next year). Each one is a homage to Bill’s boundless energy and passion.

 

B1-3NAT345-3TBill's U.S. National Bonsai Album 5
 3, 4 & 5 are available at Stone Lantern

 

BILL1

Just in case you can't make out the first two inductees, they are John Yoshio Naka and Yuji Yoshimura. Pretty good company.

billwithCurator Michael James left, and past curator Jack Sustic of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum presenting Bill with a special commemorative container reproduction of the one Goshin is planted in.

 

BILLWCREW

Bill’s famous “Crew” who helps him with all efforts to promote bonsai and present the US National Bonsai Exhibitions.

 

BILL&JOE

The gentleman with Bill is Joe Noga of bonsai photography fame. Some of Joe's best photos can be found in the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition Albums 2 thru 5 (with more to come)

*R.A.F. Richard A. Fenicchia. Here’s a link if you’d like to know more

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6th

Bill's 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition is coming! 
Time to start planning your trip

Bill’s Famous Seigen Japanese Maple in Fall and Spring Color – Setting the Record Straight

seigen-11-10

This is what the fall color really looks like on Bill Valavanis' famous Seigen Japanese maple

My apologies to Bill Valavanis for a careless mistake in our post from Monday. Not only did I fail to attribute the tree shown here to Bill due a memory failure (coupled with laziness), but I mistook spring color for fall color. To set the record straight, the fall color photo is above and the spring color photo is below.

If there’s any good news to come out of my mistake, perhaps it’s the chance to remind you about next year’s 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. As it happens, the maple in question is the tree Bill chose for the logo. An excellent choice for what promises to be a truly great bonsai event

By the way, our congratulations to Bill who was just inducted into the American Bonsai Hall of Fame (stay tuned for more about Bill and his great honor tomorrow)

m3

Spring color!

6th

Here it is. Your first of many reminders about the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. Time to start planning your trip

If you need more encouragement, take a look at the powerful trees from the last tree Exhibition Albums (we’re sold out of 1 & 2)

3,4&5

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