“A WALK IN THE FORESTS:
An Exhibition of Forest & Multi-trunk Style Bonsai”
The Intriguing Realm of Forest Bonsai
by Bob Hilvers, CBCS Curator
All bonsai are, at their core, representations of nature. Whether they are stylized, idealized or virtual replicas of their full-sized relatives, bonsai are images of the myriad of tree forms that we see all around us. They are compositions, employing multiple visual elements arranged to create a harmonious image. Most bonsai involve a combination of design elements involving a single trunk, accentuated by a particular arrangement of the foliage for a given design, and complimented by a specifically chosen container (pot) to render the desired harmony.
The theme of “Forests” for our next exhibition is emblematic of a wide range of recognized bonsai “styles” that involve the use of multiple trunks, either as a group of single trees - a forest- or of multiple trunks originating from a single root source – Clump style bonsai. Forest bonsai, and all of the other multi-trunk bonsai styles are more complex due to the increase in visual elements that define the style. They are therefore much more difficult to render into a harmonious image, convincing our “mind’s eye” that we are beholding a miniature vignette of the natural world.
You are invited to experience a “Lilliputian world” of forest bonsai and the fascinating variety of other multiple-trunked bonsai styles that will be on display at the Clark Bonsai Collection in Shinzen Garden.
Forest style Trident Maple re-styled
by Ryan Neal in collaboration with the original artist, Ray Thieme. The oldest tree estimated to be 50+ years old.
The Triple Trunks Shimpaku Juniper
from the Brustlin Collection.
Clump style Coastal Redwood
by Bob Hilvers from the Brustlin Collection.