Geometry
in Space

Bonsai display in Nature

A traditional Bonsai display isolates the tree and allows the viewer to focus on the detail of the artist's work. The negative space between the tree and the accent plants permits the viewer to fill in these spaces with there imagination.

Most exhibitions are based on the traditional tokonoma displays and allows for limited space left to right or right to left and is greatly limited in depth. Creighton Bostrom is exploring the display of Bonsai in nature and we created this article with him.

Bonsai is art and art is a mysterious thing. It is a language that the artist invents. Some of the characters in this language may be familiar, it may have a familiar cadence, or it may be completely unique and foreign to the senses of the observer.

An artist creates this language and yet there are people who are able to comprehend, interpret, and feel it. Some of these artistic languages are easily interpreted by the masses and some are intimate conversations with the few. All are equally rewarding.

Display Bonsai trees in nature
At the Rocky Face Mountain in Hiddenite, NC

Finding your voice or language in Bonsai can be challenging. Most Bonsai artists present their work at exhibitions or club shows where the expectation to display according to traditional guidelines can at times limit the artist’s opportunity of self-expression. Stand size, kusomono location, position of scroll, seasonality, etc., create an environment where avant-garde can be seen as a technical mistake. Judging a painting on the brush strokes and the frame instead of the meaning of the composition.

A traditional Bonsai display isolates the tree and allows the viewer to focus on the detail of the artists work. The negative space between the tree and the accent plants permits the viewer to fill in these spaces with there imagination. Most exhibitions are based on the traditional tokonoma displays and allows for limited space left to right or right to left and is greatly limited in depth.

Display Bonsai trees in nature
Title: Outside, the Box
Display Bonsai trees in nature
Title: Full Circle

Displaying Bonsai in nature

The project I am working on, "Geometry in Space", is an exploration of Bonsai display in nature, in vast open spaces, were there is no limit to depth or lateral movement.

The sculptural frames are to guide the viewers eye to the tree as well as create the intended visual movement of the composition. I consider this a mixed medium project of photography, sculpture, and Bonsai. The intent is not to see the intricate detailing of the Bonsai styling but to place the tree in a natural context. Isolating a single Bonsai in open space to change the viewers perspective and view the tree in a naturalistic setting. The juxtaposition of a Bonsai and a large tree and the framing of a singular space combined with seemingly endless depth. These two extremes should create conflict in most visual art, however, in my opinion, the Bonsai creates a harmonious feeling that unites the composition.

Display Bonsai trees in nature
Display Bonsai trees in nature
Display Bonsai trees in nature
Title: Flow
Display Bonsai trees in nature
Display Bonsai trees in nature
Display Bonsai trees in nature
Title: Diverging - with a Boxwood bonsai

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