The East Bay Bonsai Society recently held their 49th annual show at the Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland, California. It was another good show for EBBS with a fun mix of varieties, accents and suiseki. Below are photos from the show with a few comments about balance. For comparison’s sake, here is a link to photos from last year’s show.
Why the focus on balance? When exhibiting bonsai with other elements – second trees, accents, or scrolls – the tree will either guide the viewer’s gaze toward the accent or away from it. Trees with clear flow to one side or the other look good on their own and help create compelling displays. What if a tree doesn’t flow one way or the other? Maybe it’s perfectly balanced. Or maybe it’s awaiting further development that will guide it in a single direction – that’s part of the fun.
Korean hornbeam – does the tree point left or right?
Japanese black pine – a well-balanced bonsai; does it belong on the left or right side of the display?
Procumbens juniper – good, strong direction to the right
Japanese black pine on a rock
Coast redwood – this tree is early in its development – which way should it point?
Japanese beech – informal upright, points to the left
California juniper – trunk leans to the right, apex offset to the left for balance
Juniper – both main trunks point to the right
Japanese white pine – the key branch points left – does the apex?
Sierra juniper – long branch to the left, good deadwood to the right
Shohin Japanese black pine – subtle slant to the right
Shohin Japanese quince
Shohin Olive – informal upright: the lower part of the trunk leans right, the apex points left for balance
Shohin Japanese hawthorn
Shohin trident maple on rock – trunk and apex point left
Shohin juniper – which way does this juniper point?
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