Bonsai Summer Festival: Part 3

Summer Bonsai Festival 

In my previous post I wrote about the Summer bonsai Festival organized by the Nippon Bonsai Sakka Kyookai Europe (NBSKE) of wich I have been a member for a couple of months and am so excited to be part of. If you missed my previous post go to Part 1 and Part 2 to see more.

The last part of the week was dedicated to the National Congress of the NBSKE. Again the trees and compositions were rearranged, and the focus of this last part of the week went to the real art of Bonsai: Improve your bonsai with Sensei Isao Fukita; how to set up the Tokonoma; demonstration of bonsai technique with the contribution of the expert members of NBSKE and Sensei Fukita; for those interested teacher Fabio Smolari did some Taiji in the morning and prof. Aldo Tollini gave a very interesting conference on the Arts and ways of Japanese culture.
 
Well, since Sensei Fukita was there, I tried to apply my very sparse Japanese to impress, but I grandly failed with pleasant appreciation from his side: I told him “kombawa” instead of “domo arigato”. For the record: good night instead of thank you! He laughed with affection!

Of course the new shimpaku bought at Otti’s nursery had to be restyled, and Sensei Fukita did a great job, well… what else could one expect! Sensei Isao Fukita  was born in 1966 in Hirosaki in the province of Aomori. In 1983 he became a pupil of Sensei Kunio Kobayashi at Shunkaen. In 1990, after the loss of his father, he had to leave Shunkaen and returned home to carry on the family tradition as bonsai Master in Kashoen. At the Nihon Bonsai Sakufu-Ten he received, for three consecutive years (1994-1996) the Association Hana Ippai first prize, Satsuki section. In 1998  he received the award from the Mainichi Shinbun for first style Bunjin at the Sakufu-Ten. In the same year he travels to San Francisco to give Bonsai conferences. In 1999, at the Sakufu-Ten he archives the award from the Japanese Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

It was nice to see a Japanese sensei at work, he sweated a lot bending two pinus silvestris!
After dinner Prof. Aldo Tollini, a great expert of Japanese culture and our translator, held a really interesting conference about the arts and ways of Japanese culture. “le arti e le vie nella cultura giapponese” the Arts and Ways in japanese culture. Basically; the perfecting of the imperfect, the path of the art brings illumination, the heart searches for perfection in exterior forms, the correct exterior form corrects the heart. The concept of wabi, the Kibishiza drama. Really interesting.
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Saturday, a very interesting conference/exchange of opinions about the preparation of the Tokonoma. I am sure everybody knows what a Tokonoma is. In English, Tokonoma is usually called alcove (quelle: Wikipedia). For bonsai enthusiasts a display in the Tokonoma should be the ultimate goal while planning the plant. When a composition is finished/styled/restyled or even just preparing for the next show, it should be displayed in the Tokonoma to see the flaws and qualities of the plant, for the choice of the right shitakusa (accent plant) and the kakejiku (Japanese scroll painting or calligraphy), in order to choose the right table or jiita (a wooden or bamboo flowerpot saucer). 11 exhibitors and master members presented their own interpretations in the Tokonoma.  Once more, a very interesting exchange of opinions, and the President of NBSKE Lorenzo Agnoletti recited a poem? Very touching.
 
I travelled home on Sunday and missed the demo of my Sensei Nicola Crivelli and a Yamadori workshop with Lorenzo Agnoletti but my new friends told me it was really special.
This was my 3 part series on the Bonsai Summer Festival. Hope you all enjoyed it and hope I brought you some japanese bonsai culture in your heart and in your soul.
 
I had a wonderfull week, I meet lots of lovely people, I learnes su much about bonsai art, I really had a great time and wanted to thank all the members of NBSKE for organizing such an amazing event. I really hope to repeat this experiance also next week.
 
….love, Melanie!
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Summer Bonsai Festival: part 2

Summer Bonsai Festival

 

In my previous post I wrote about the Summer Bonsai Festival organized by the Nippon Bonsai Sakka Kyookai Europe (NBSKE) of which I have been a member for a couple of months and am so excited to be part of. Here part 1
Part two is about other japanese art forms like: Ikebana, tea ceremony, and bonsai pots as well as a trip to Othmar Auer who has his nursery and school about one hour from Fai della Paganella. In the photo gallery more about his garden.
On Monday we had a guided tour in the woods of Fai della Paganella. If anybody reading this comes to the north of Italy, I really raccomend going to Trentino. This area really touched my heart.
We also participated in a workshop by Adriano Nalon about cultivating a tree from seed. Adriano brought a couple of plants as examples and explained why he feels it is one of the most rewarding forms of cultivation. He’s now retired and doesn’t cultivate trees from seeds any more but he collects seeds from herbs and weeds for kusamonos and shitakusas. At the workshop he had a gingko to show something he cultivated from seeds in the late ’70 early ’80. Anyway, he told the audience “I will throw away this tree, I don’t like it”! Well, the gingko has find a new owner: me!
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After dinner Diego Rigotti held a conference on Suiseki. Diego is also a member of the NBSKE and one of the organizers of this wonderful week-long event. Again it’s a really interesting art-form although I still have to find out where to find Suiseki stones.
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On Tuesday we had a guided tour of Fai della Paganella and a brief yet illuminating journey thought the history of this amazing tiny village inhabited by about 900 people.
In the evening Mistress Sachiko Yamaguchi held a conference on Ikebana. Of course somebody had to try this new technique and who is more prone to try new things than me?!
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On Wednesday came the highlight, a visit to Othmar Auer’s garden! Otti, as he’s called, does have a big beautiful garden, but it’s not as open as a normal nursery. You have to announce yourself a couple of days ahead. The garden is a real gem: finished bonsais are exposed in a light way, the Japanese feeling is obiquitous, the whole garden is clean and neat, the nursery plants are healthy, big and make a powerful presence. He has a huge greenhouse with herbs, flowers and weeds for kusamonos. In the house bonsai pots are exposed in a neat logical way. Well what else…. the price! Nothing is cheap at his place, but for real bonsai enthusiasts it’s a place to visit and to buy from because it’s by far the best place for quality plants, in my opinion.
In the afternoon Xavier Redon held a Workshop on olive shohin. Xavier is Spanish, has his own Bonsai School and nursery, and is of course a full member of the NBSKE and also president of the NBSKE Spain. He has extensive knowledge of the olive tree in nature. I didn’t participate at the workshop because I don’t like this essence and in my latitude it doesn’t grow as in south Italy or Spain. Still for me and lots of others, this workshop was packed with useful information, advice and recommendations.
On Thursday morning we went up to the Paganella. Too bad the weather wasn’t cooperating much that day, it was cloudy but we still had a really good time.
In the afternoon there was a workshop with Igor Carino on bonsai pots. We created our own, for me it was my real first bonsai pot!
And at last but not least the authentic Japanese tea ceremony: the jewel that crowned this week. Mistress Senyo Machida, formal name Yoko, demostrated the aspect and aesthetic of this very ancient Japanese art.
I am excited about the end of the week, so stay tuned! I will post more this week so follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

…,love, Melanie!

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