bonsai general - 40 views
A comment from last week’s post in Chojubai by Mr. Grahn made me think about connoisseurs. A knower , as a rough definition, is someone with great knowledge of the arts or food, and above all is a good judge of aesthetics and taste. A kind of art critic, you could say. The same people who end up ‘discover’ something, because they have great voices, everyone looks to see what they are aiming at.
For bonsai, this discovery or insight would be excessive plant waiting for bonsai. I think the relatively unknown plants sit on the periphery of the dominant species until proven guilty. Tradition is a cautious animal. He wants is own tests, as essential repeatable science experiments. For bonsai, these tests would be:
– not flashy aesthetics
– easy to grow in a pot
– sensitive technique
– at least a season where shines, even if during the other looks horrible
– and a lot of people (connoisseurs) agreement on those points (this is a tradition after all, not a show of one man)
Take the example of Chojubai quince, from the post last week. In the third paragraph of that post was a historical note indicating how popularity grew for several decades. I think the popularity enjoyed by this plant now in Japan is twofold: one that meets all the above criteria. Secondly, it reflects a rare aesthetic really only represented by another plant: Ume, Japanese flowering apricot. Both plants are unique contrasts, having rough, craggy bark and trunk, however, that produce the most delicate, simple flowers at a time of year when everything else seems dead: Winter. Connoisseurship-recognition-rare qualities in Chojubai has led to its rise to the status of ‘plant appreciated’. Whole arc …
Well, I have my own reasons for being in love with Chojubai, and grow avidly. But I suggest taking a good look at something you like an unappreciated plant, perhaps a native-and really push their chances. Take it to the absurd. And then see if you can convince your friends bonsai its validity as a front-ranker!
If you become a connoisseur of something, it changes everything. Change the look of the plant, because now you’re really witnessing it, focusing and technique in it. And, just maybe, you could even change our community perception of beauty.
This article was originally published on http://crataegus.com/2011/12/31/are-we-missing-something/