The bonsai exhibition in China was fun, and well worth the trip and many others from around the world thought so too given the attendees present from Canada, Australia, Tasmania, France, Germany, America and India to name a few of the countries we met people from.
One fascination or trend we noticed was that of the ‘selfie’ and it was a serious craze around the bonsai trees with people queuing to use their selfie sticks in China in front of some of the more popular trees on display. The photographic element of the convention was very popular too with most of us sporting one of more cameras to document the event and all the amazing trees on display.
The Chinese pots were something else in some cases, they had very ornate patterns and designs, some were brightly coloured while others had landscape scenes painted onto them or etched into the ceramic. There were some very unique styles and designs of pots, and come were subtle while others quite garish. It was great to see the different uses of pots and tree combinations and some were definitely “marmite” pots while others worked incredibly well.
The accompanying art work to the bonsai trees hanging or attached to the back drops also gave an added dimension to some of the trees and enhanced the overall displays. In particular the lattice wooden rectangles as well as some of the highly ornate wooden plaques and gave us food for thought when setting up our displays back in the UK.
One thing that was noticeable though was that some of the presentation was lacking around top dressing, this was less of a key factor in the overall presentation on some of the trees with some being quite weed covered or just quite sterile without a clean surface overall. Some of the pots were cracked or had been glued or repaired in places as well as were not cleaned, however given the size of some of the pots and trees it must be hard to not damage them in transit so this in part was understandable.
The ramification of some of the trees was incredible, it was dense, detailed and intricate, and the majority of broadleaved trees had been defoliated prior to the show but during the 5 days of the convention it was awesome to watch buds swelling, leaves sprouting and forming and the trees coming back into leaf. It shows what a difference the climate makes and how much more quickly this allows you to develop a trees branch structure and twiggery.