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Sunday, 5 October 2014

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Bonsai - Living images

We are surrounded by various forms of beautiful trees, and most of us simply enjoy their beauty, without thinking much about the features which make them beautiful. For a Bonsai enthusiast, these beautiful forms form the basis for inspiration, and simply looking at them will not be sufficient. You have to analyse their structure, in order to reproduce authentic miniature images of such trees.

A careful analysing of a tree leads one to understand its life story and the conditions under which it grew over the years.

For, mountain trees grow in thin poor soil, and are exposed to strong winds. Their life is a constant battle for survival under harsh realities of the 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.

When the artistic forms of Bonsai trees are displayed at the exhibitions, many enthusiastic viewers get a desire to try out creating a Bonsai.

A beginner, could be little nervous of some of the techniques used, but in no time, one can gain confidence as he /she see 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".

Bonsai can be a horticultural challenge to a plant lover, but for someone with an artistic touch, Bonsai can be an excellent medium to keep on exploring where there will be no limit to creative achievements.

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.

But, the good thing with Bonsai is that you can keep on changing or modifying the structure or the form, if you desire in doing so.

As it is an Artwork which is never finished, you can keep on working with it over the years, where you can get immense satisfaction.

The size of a Bonsai is not an important factor. Many believe that the larger the Bonsai, better it is, which is not true.

It is also assumed that bigger Bonsai are more difficult to create, which also not true.

It can be argued that, a mini or "Mame" Bonsai will require more patience and skills to create and maintain, because same aesthetic standards have to be achieved with fewer and smaller elements.

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 - 2014" at the J. D. A. Perera Gallery, University of Visual and Performing Art, Horton Place, Colombo 7, from October 10 to 12.

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