Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Artisans Cup 2015

The most important bonsai event in America and eventually possibly in the Western world in
2015 was the Artisans Cup in Portland Oregon two weeks ago. I was fortunate to have been nominated to be one of the five judges. Here are just a few glimpses of the exhibit. Some images are borrowed from Oscar Jonker (thank you).The light was not for photographing but very much for enjoying bonsai in a so far unseen manner. I saw people cry because they were so overwhelmed. The majority of trees were American made trees, mostly collected. Compared to the best European shows for my feeling this was clearly at par. as I know this was just the beginning and there are at least 500 more incredibly good trees already in the making in the US. The future is bright. This will definitely be the show to be. I see this as a turning point in American bonsai - a paradigm shift. Modern Bonsai has definitely arrived now. The results show that the taste of the judges now goes towards the modern bonsai style as is the case in Europe since quite a few years. This means that the trees which make the biggest impression win. Quiet does not win awards. This too is a turning point. As speculator as this was not everybody will like the implications. Bonsai in America is now professional. The amateurs still have a chance though, but they must work professionally. I hope some way will be found to get the quiet trees which definitely should be in such a show but will  not probably not win awards. There needs to be some thought to keep the broadleaved trees coming which have little chance against the conifer monsters. It was a historic event and I am very happy to have been part of this.
Images of all trees, full judging list with points, recordings of extensive tree critiques for every single tree by every judge and much more can be seen here

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