Display aesthetics – a practical discussion

British Shohin Bonsai

A few years ago I did an article in the BSA Newsletter about  a display that had been put together by Hans Vleugels and subsequently commented on by Morten Albek.  With the permission of those two august gentlemen, I thought it might be a good idea to open the article up to the wider audience that we now have to see what others think.  Here goes.

When Hans Vleugels posted this shohin display on the Internet Bonsai Club many people would have thought that it was already a fine offering. The trees were individually superb, and together they seemed to create a restful and unified

Hans' original display Hans’ original display

The display was created as part of a photo session at Hans’ bonsai club Eda Uchi Kai where members were asked to bring some trees for a professional photo shoot by Jan Dieryck. The trees in the shohin display are a Juniperus chinensis, an Acer buergerianum…

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And Now for Something Completely Different..

I have been working my way through a few Scots Pines in the last few weeks giving them an initial styling. They were collected from a bog a few years back and have grown well.

As with most bog pines they are tall and straight with not much as the bottom to work with. This one however had an unusual lower branch which I wanted to retain. We often are too quick to remove what we deem as a ‘fault’ when it can actually make the main feature of the tree. Who wants to look at the same boring tree images again and again? Indeed, who wants to style the same boring tree images again and again?

This was it before I started.


And this is it after some wiring. As usual the photo doesn’t show the back to front trunk and branch movement. Some branches need to extend and as it fills I can create a more convincing image, but for a first styling I am happy with the result.