When the artistic forms of Bonsai trees are displayed at exhibitions, many enthusiastic viewers get a desire to try out creating a Bonsai. A beginner, could be slightly nervous of some of the techniques used, but in no time, one can gain confidence as he /she sees how the trees respond to the training. With growing confidence, new ideas can be experimented, some will succeed, and some may fail. But, with each failure, you will learn how to go ahead with the task of creating a “sculpture” out of a “living specimen”.
A careful analysing of a tree leads one to understand its life story and the conditions under which it grew over the years. As an example, mountain trees grow in thin poor soil, and are exposed to strong winds. Their life is a constant battle for survival under the harsh realities of nature. However, such battle will give them their unique character, with very special attractive features.
A bonsai artist will also have to learn the process of a young plant turning out to an old tree, shedding many branches, leaving the essential stronger ones, strong surface roots becoming a part of the picture, giving stability and a mature look.
The age of a Bonsai is not that important. What matters in a Bonsai, is the true quality of the specimen. How beautiful it is, how natural it looks? It is the beauty of form, colour and texture, which matters. It is a fact that the beauty of the tree will improve with the length of time it had been trained as a Bonsai. But unless the basic form is of quality, ageing itself will not make it a good Bonsai.
The size of a Bonsai is also not an important factor. Many believe that the larger the Bonsai, the better it is, which is not true. It is also assumed that bigger Bonsai are more difficult to create, which is also not true. It can be argued that a mini or “Mame” Bonsai will require more patience and skills to create and maintain, because the same aesthetic standards have to be achieved with fewer and smaller elements.
A careful analysing of a tree leads one to understand its life story and the conditions under which it grew over the years
Bonsai artists all over the world, exhibit their creations at the exhibitions conducted by their respective Associations/ Clubs, and these exhibitions give an opportunity to the general public to appreciate and study this very special art. In Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Bonsai Association conducts such annual Bonsai exhibitions.
A large collection of high quality Bonsai plants created by the members of the Sri Lanka Bonsai Association will be on display, at their Annual Exhibition “Reflections – 2018” at the J.D.A.Perera Gallery, University of Visual & Performing Arts, No.46, Horton Place, Colombo 07, on 4th May (from 12.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.) and on 5th and 6th May 2018 (from 9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.).
Demonstrations will be held at 4.00 p.m. on 4th, 5th & 6th May and at 11.00 a.m. on 5th & 6th May 2018.