Mr. Yang Guisheng explained why Chinese penjing are so large


Chiara Padrini from Italy


Mr. Su Fang organizer of the event


Uhaku Sudo from Japan


Kunio Kobayashi from Japan


Amy Liang from Taiwan


Tony Peyeras from Spain


Maria Arborelius Rosberg from Sweden


Mr. Kestutis Ptakauskas from Lithuania



William N. Valavanis from the United States.

Thursday morning began the first part of the Dialog of the Penjing World Forum which was held in a meeting room of the garden hotel. Chinese elm penjing were used as decorations. The room had a rather unusual LED projection screen. The LED screen, NOT projector (but it too was probably LED), was composed of thousands small bulbs which were quite bright. Even in a sunny room one could easily see the projected images. Since the projector had several cords for the screen, it was not possible for me to plug in my MacBook Pro laptop. But no problems, I simply made a copy of the PowerPoint Program and ran it off their laptop. The transitions came through great, but my fonts were changed.

Mr. Xu Huo from China began with a talk on the history of penjing. Then it was my turn to talk about the Origin & History of Bonsai in the United States. The other members of the forum also presented papers and images of bonsai in their respective countries:  China, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan, Malyasia, France, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Check Republic and the United States. Mr. Yang Cuisheng presented an informative speech on why Chinese penjing are so large.

The programs were well delivered and interesting, especially with the images of their bonsai and club activities. One half of the speeches were presented on Thursday morning and the other half concluded on Friday.

Terra Cotta Soldiers

After part 1 of the forum we had another Chinese luncheon and were taken by bus to see the famous Terra Cotta Soldiers. It was “supposed” to be a quick 40 minute bus ride, but ended up nearly three hours, ONE WAY. This was the second day of a week long national holiday and the toll roads were free so many were on the road. The roads were lined with people selling fruit. At first they looked like apples, but I soon discovered they were pomegranates, loads of them. Vendors went from car to car selling their fruit. The pomegranate trees nearby were loaded with fruit, mostly wrapped in clear plastic for protection. The fruit looked white and I’m used to seeing the dark red colors. Traffic continued to get bad and at one time we noticed that the four lane road (two lanes in each direction) suddenly swelled up to SEVEN lanes one way!

We finally arrived at the museum location of the ancient Terra Cotta Soldiers which were discovered only 34 years ago by a farmer digging a well, what a surprise he got! A few of the restored soldiers were on display in the large open rooms. Many of the clay soldiers are still buried because when they are uncovered the paint quickly deterorates with fresh air. They soldiers were in three large pits, and building were constructed over them. It was quite crowded and difficult to move around the perimeter of the pits with the crowds and we were told that yesterday over 80,000 people had visited. The farmer who discovered the treasurers was even in one of the three buildings signing autographs, for a fee of course.


On Friday we finished up with part 2 of the well organized forum. The speeches were translated from English to Chinese and often Japanese. Mr. Su Fang, who conceptualized the event and the World Bonsai Stone Culture Association and Chinese Penjing Artists Association are to be congratulated for organizing and hosting such an important international event which brought people from around the globe to a single remote quiet and beautiful location to present information on their bonsai passion. The several translators, hosts, hotel staff, bus drivers, cooks and of course all the people who helped the one person with his broken foot were really appreciated by everyone. I look forward to another interesting and stimulating event and feel fortunate to have been included to represent the United States.

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