The idea of exhibiting six shohin bonsai in a single display can be daunting. Fortunately there are good alternatives that accommodate smaller numbers of bonsai in the display.
At Gafu-ten, the most common single-tree displays feature bunjin bonsai. These trees have little visual weight for their size but fill the display area well.
Bunjin camellia with figure
Two-tree displays can be simple arrangements featuring a single elevated stand. By raising the level of one of the two trees, the composition can take advantage of the upper part of the display area.
Two tree display with elevated stand – elm and princess persimmon
Two tree display – deciduous bonsai and kinzu
A simple box stand can achieve the same effect.
Two tree display with box stand – ilex and shimpaku
If you have scrolls available, they can be displayed with one or two trees to create attractive tokonoma-style displays.
Two tree display with scroll – black pine and trident maple
Two tree display with scroll – chojubai and white pine
Two tree display with scroll – deciduous bonsai and red pine
When you are ready for displays featuring larger numbers of trees, the four-tree box stand can be a good alternative to the five-tree box stand. It’s especially popular for larger shohin or kifu-size bonsai.
Five tree display featuring small trees
Five tree display with larger trees
Five tree display
When simple displays fail to deliver the intended effect, more creative arrangements are a good alternative. Here are two that use elements found less frequently in shohin displays.
Bonsai display with walled box stand
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