New exhibit reveals to visitors what-makes-a bonsai-a-bonsai
‘Cool!”, ‘Beautiful!,’ ‘Amazing!’: bonsai have universal appeal, as evidenced by these common, cross-cultural, post-viewing reactions. But why? What makes them so beautiful? What exactly makes a bonsai, a bonsai?
Through Pacific Bonsai Museum’s 2018 exhibition, Living Art of Bonsai: Elements of Design, visitors will be able to study bonsai trees and describe what they see. The exhibit will break down major design elements of bonsai art -- line, shape, form, space, color, and texture -- exploring each element in detail. It will demonstrate, with trees from Pacific Bonsai Museum’s collection, how these design elements are used in bonsai.
As visitors enter and move through the exhibit, they will find bonsai trees that elegantly express design elements, displayed alongside images of artworks and interpretive text offering insights into the bonsai design process. As they explore the exhibit, visitors will be prompted by provocative questions to help them discover things they hadn’t seen before and put into words what they are learning. In the end, after experiencing all six elements, they will have become savvy about bonsai design, appreciative of the craft, and empowered to draw new connections between bonsai and other works of art.