This year we attended the 2015 Bonsai Clubs International Convention and Asian-Pacific Bonsai and Viewing Stone Convention & Exhibition, which was held in Guangzhou, China which is known as the ‘City of Flowers’.
If you have never been to a convention for bonsai then it is definitely a must, as you realize more than ever that you are not alone in this hobby. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet so many other bonsai enthusiasts from all around the world; there were around 1200 attendees at the convention and around 200 of us were classed as ‘non native’ which was fun.
There were over 600 items of works on display during the convention which ran over five days with two days dedicated to field trips to see some amazing bonsai collections which will feature in follow up posts.
The convention started off officially on the 18th September after registration the previous day and there was a grand official opening ceremony with many notable Chinese Officials and representatives.
In addition to Thomas S. Elias who is the Chairman of the Viewing Stone Association of North America, Honorary Vice Chairman of the Viewing Stone Association of China and the President of Bonsai Clubs International and he gave a lecture on viewing stones of North America later in the Convention too.
The main bonsai display was held outside in the Memorial Park outside of the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the scale and size of the bonsai and overall exhibition was incredible. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall was built in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a great revolutionary forerunner in Chinese contemporay history. The magnificent octagonal palace style architecture is one of the most representative landmark buildings of Guangzhou.
There were bonsai trees of all shapes and sizes and over 47 individual species of trees present and everything from Mame up to enormous bonsai which required fork lift trucks to position them, so more on each species in later posts.
Within the park also were traders from the local areas who were selling pots, bonsai trees of all types and values plus viewing stones, root stands and tools and they were set of to the surrounds of some stunning Fig trees, so more on that in later posts too.
Within the Guangdong Science Hall there was an amazing exhibition of viewing stones and throughout the convention various talks, demonstrations and lectures were given by a whole host of professionals from around the world on bonsai, pots and viewing stones. Guangdong Science Building, a magnificent and majesty architecture with deeply traditional cultural green glaze as well as cornices, is one of the earliest science and technology activity site, located at the southern of Yuexiu Mountain and the western of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
The majority of attendees stayed at the Guangdong hotel and this was the main function setting for all the meals and reception area and within the hotel was a stunning Koi pond. The views of Guangzhou from the hotel were excellent.
Throughout the convention the BCI staff were always on hand with a friendly smile to ensure you got the most out of the convention, and a special thanks goes to Vicky Liu for all her help during our stay. In addition an auction was held where you had the opportunity to bid on a range of viewing stones, pots and pictures.
So all in, it was a full fun packed few days of admiring bonsai, viewing stones with some great discussion on the trees during daily 6am walks around the exhibition with new found friends from Australia and Tasmania as this avoided the sometimes stifling heat of the day, and the crowds.