Mixed in with the shohin bonsai displays were beautiful stone arrangements, small and elegant of course. They were displayed on traditional shohin bonsai box stands. Some of the stone arrangements had artificial trees, very cute and probably took a great amount of time to create, but easy to care for.
There were several displays featuring grasses and two hanging bonsai as well.
The entire exhibition was held in the center of a huge greenhouse complex. Surrounding the exhibition on three sides, but still in the greenhouse complex was the sales area which wrapped around the exhibition.
On one side there were mostly plants and bonsai, from young untrained material to developed, and heavy bonsai which needed to be moved by a fork lift. All looked healthy and clean. Nearly all were Chinese, but I did spot many Japanese imports. Since I’ve been to Japan a couple of times, I can easily recognize Japanese bonsai, especially the Satsuki azaleas. I did not spend too much time looking at the plants because they were too tempting and I did not want to get into trouble. But, if they were easily importable, I would have purchased many.
There seemed to be a great number of sales areas devoted to shohin bonsai, containers and display tables. Hand carved root stands were abundant if you looked. In June I had a difficult time finding the perfect size shohin display table for a Sargent juniper displayed at the 2017 US National Shohin Bonsai Exhibition held in North Carolina. Suddenly I came across a wide selection of small square display tables. When I approached the salesperson he looked proud of his hand made tables and took one off the table and stood on it. It was only three inches square, but quite strong. Unfortunately the airline personal were stronger and I now have a “kit.” But I purchased several of different sizes for future displays.
The larger size bonsai containers were quite elegant. Each registrant received a beautiful commemorative container upon arrival. Two of the identical containers were put into the auction and were sold for $2,000 and $3,000. Each container was numbered and the ones auctioned had special numbers which are considered lucky.
This bonsai was planted on an interesting piece of driftwood and looked different.
A couple of more photos of the demonstrators. Elsa Boudouri from Greece created a beautiful Japanese black pine, while Chris Xepapas from Australia shaped a cascade Sargent juniper while I shaped another Japanese black pine. We were three Greeks, but never had the opportunity to get a group shot together. So it takes two images to get us all together.
Two Greeks and my Australian friend & assistant
The entire exhibition was great, well organized and hosted by friendly young people who spoke English and were helpful. A big thanks to the three groups organizing the event and to Robert Steven who arranged for the demonstrators from around the world. Well done!