One of the hardest, but most fun, parts of setting up a bonsai exhibit is creating displays. Some members pre-configure their 6′ slots and know exactly which trees, pots, stands and accent will best fill the space. The rest of us – all but a handful really – participate in the mix-and-match process of setting the show. Does this pine look good with that maple? Does anyone know of a shorter stand? Can we find a smaller accent? Bustle reigns for several hours during this phase which typically ends before everything is final – the last bits happen moments before the exhibit opens.
Procumbens juniper and Japanese maple
Pussy willow and black pine
The last few BIB exhibits featured suiseki art by Mas Nakajima. Nakajima’s abstract paintings and stone art attract a lot of attention and give visitors something to ponder as they pause between displays.
Accent, painting and stone
Once the trees are set, scrolls sometimes pop-up, adding additional color to the room.
More than any of the other displays, the box shohin display receives the most attention at set-up. The resulting combination of 6 trees, 5 stands and 1 accent below is the product of much swapping and debating. But what a result!
Corkbark black pine
A nearby two-tree shohin display also proved effective.
Japanese flowering quince ‘chojubai’
Japanese red pine
Additional small trees appeared throughout the exhibit hall, including the black pine below.
Japanese black pine
Next time – more trees from the exhibit!
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Nice to see. I know a lot of work went into this, but for some reason the first 2 displays did not sit quite right with me. I would have liked to see the accent in the first under the maple a bit and accent on the second far closer to the pussy willow. To me that makes the visual weight a bit more symmetric – the secondary elements balance the primary. Of course that is just my opinion and perhaps other aesthetic rules supersede this opinion.