22ND Hwa-Fong National Bonsai Exhibition
The 22nd Hwa-Fong National Bonsai Exhibition was held on November 4-26, 2017 in Xizhou Park, in Changhua County, Taiwan. This is a huge agricultural expo park featuring five exhibition halls, parks and rural handicraft displays along with food courts. Trees, plants and flowers from around the world are planted around a large pond in European style landscapes. The exhibition is held in a large hall with excellent natural lighting and air conditioning which was needed with the high outdoor temperatures and humidity. It was quite pleasant in the exhibition and a three piece band played tunes as thousands of visitors came to see the finest bonsai for 2017.
The Hwa-Fong National Bonsai Exhibition took place during a large fair which I was told attracted 140,000 people on the opening day alone. It displays the highest level bonsai from throughout Taiwan and is identical to the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition in Japan and the US National Bonsai Exhibition in America. It is sponsored by the National Bonsai Association of Taiwan which is composed of 26 branches in the country. Each branch selects their ten best bonsai which are brought to the exhibition. There the judges select only the finest to display. Over 135 bonsai were displayed, but it looked like more. There is only one winning bonsai and eleven bonsai which received gold awards.
Top award winning Fig bonsai
Like many bonsai common to Taiwan and China most were quite large in size, although there were a few shohin bonsai compositions and some smaller trees as well. Special exhibits featured scenic painting backgrounds which added interest and impact to the displays, especially for the public.
The opening day was quite crowded and it was difficult to photograph the bonsai. The crowds thinned out during the next few days. People were polite and friendly during the exhibition and in fact, all through Taiwan. Enjoy my photos and please check out my upcoming article in International BONSAI, www.internationalbonsai.com, which will feature better quality photos.