The 5th Zhongguo Fen Penjing Exhibition – Part 2

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Today I spent the morning studying and photographing the shohin bonsai exhibition. The trees are superb, equal in quality to the huge specimens displayed outdoors. Shohin bonsai do not present the heavy and powerful feeling of the larger specimens. It appeared as though each artist had about 5-6 feet of display space. They were all filled, mostly in good taste too.




I was told there were over 300 display areas, I did not count the spaces, but did count the trees and stones with a total of 1,593! I may be off by a couple of dozen, as I stopped to see trees I missed during my first trip. I walked 2.4 miles, not bad with two broken feet.


There was an abundance of Firethorn, Princess persimmon and Cotoneaster displayed, most likely because of the season of the year and they were in full colorful fruit. Lots of unusual species were exhibited, and you can see them in the next issue of International BONSAI 2019/NO. 4, which is in production. The 2019/NO. 3 issue is at the printer now and will be mailed shortly.114.jpg













25.jpgThere was a very unusual Chinese quince with only one fruit, the size of a quarter! Although one can see trees in all styles, it seemed that literati and cascade styles were favorites. Three shohin bonsai compositions were interesting to me because each only featured Sargent juniper, Japanese black pine and Japanese five-needle pine. Yes, the tree species were duplicated and presented a monochromatic feeling. Generally, the current refined Japanese taste tends to avoid duplication. But, you know what? This is in China, where they invented artistically shaped dwarf potted trees. Just because the Japanese have a refined and rigid taste does not necessarily make it the only option.goyo.jpg

All Japanese five-needle pine



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All Japanese five-needle pine


All Sargent juniper




5.jpgThere were some unusual compositions with artists trying something different. I was impressed with the numerous’ styles of box stand tables. I’ve seen many various styles in my previous teaching trips in China, but there were many more different ones here.














24.jpgThis was the place to visit if you want to see a great number of shohin bonsai. But, if you missed this exhibition, we still have room for three more people in our new Shohin Bonsai Tour, coming up in mid-January. This small group will visit the popular bonsai gardens highlighted by attending the Gafu Shohin Bonsai Exhibition in Kyoto and also Taisho-en Bonsai Garden of Mr. Urushibata  and his son Taiga. He recently won the top Prime Minister Award in the Creator’s Bonsai Exhibition, which is limited to professional bonsai artists. Contact me if you have questions. Here is the link:



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