The 91st Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition is being held on February 4-8, 2017 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan. The exhibition is being held in two parts in order to display more trees. On February 9th, all two hundred plus trees will be replaced by another two hundred plus more masterpiece bonsai. Part 2 of the exhibition will be held on February 10-13, the same time as the Nippon Suiseki Exhibition, also in the same building on the fourth floor.
Observations on Part 1:
There are new backgrounds in the main gallery where most of the larger size bonsai are displayed. The old backgrounds are beige, smooth and shinny and are still being used in the other three galleries. The new ones are white with a slight texture like burlap and a bit reflective. Well, the entire room is bright white and quite a difference and improvement from the past exhibitions. The trees also photograph better too. The lighting is a bit harsh on many trees and some are nearly impossible to photograph. But, its important to remember that this exhibition is set up t display the beauty of the bonsai, not to provide a venue for people to photograph the trees. The new backgrounds must have been quite expensive for the Nippon Bonsai Association and I hope they can afford to completely change all the backgrounds in the other smaller galleries.
I noticed quite a few Ezo spruce bonsai in the exhibition, many more than in the past.
Also, I enjoyed seeing many more rock plantings this time too.
Additionally there was a Scots pine bonsai too! Perhaps a first for the exhibition.
The overall quality of the bonsai is superb, as always and I’m returning today to take some more photos, especially of the award winning bonsai.
I hope you enjoy these quick photos. Remember, you can see better quality photos in a future issue of International BONSAI magazine.