One thing that made the recent World Bonsai Convention so special was the inclusion of collections that aren’t often displayed. One of these collections belongs to Akiei Funayama, a Fukushima-based bonsai artist.
Funayama focuses on white bonsai, as is clear from the outstanding specimens that were on display.
Multi-trunk white pine
White pine growing on a stone
Long-time readers will recognize one of these pines as the “Million Dollar Bonsai” on display at the 2011 Asia-Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention & Exhibition in Takamatsu.
Pine displayed with ceramics and awesome stone
Million dollar bonsai
You may have noticed that with the exception of the pine above, the trees in this display were shown on simple, white blocks instead of on display stands. This decision placed more emphasis on the trees and is a good alternative when display stands aren’t available, practical or desired.
Shimpaku displayed on white box
You’ll also notice that the estimated age of each tree is included on the display card. The yew below is listed as 600 years old.
600 year-old yew
The convention program included the following words from Funayama: “Watching these bonsai that have lived through nature for over 100 years teaches you how you need to live.”
Ezo spruce – 800 years old
Tsuga – 600 years old
Exposed root white pine
In the center of the display were two raised tables with viewing stones, moss, trees and white gravel. It was a nice touch.
Of course, this wasn’t the typical view of display as convention attendance was brisk.
Convention visitors enjoying the exhibit
Introduction to Bonsai at Berkeley Botanical Garden this Sunday
The University of California Botanical Garden at UC Berkeley will be hosting an introduction to bonsai this Sunday, June 11, at 10:00 a.m. I’ll be providing a brief history of bonsai, an overview of contemporary bonsai practices, and a demonstration of basic techniques.
Registration is open to the public – discount rates are available for Garden members. Space is limited. To learn more or to register, visit the garden website here.