What is this, you might ask? Well, it’s a new gallery for truly amazing Bonsai created by amazing Bonsai artists from all around the world and, and this is a criterion for this gallery, that I was lucky enough to see and admire all these Bonsai in question in real life! And that they all have one thing in common: they all blew my mind when I did!
The first stunning Bonsai is by Gabriel Romero Aguade from Spain. I saw it for the first time at the “GINKGO BONSAI AWARDS” where it was beautifully displayed in one of their Tokonoma*. These 6 or 7 typical Japanese viewing alcoves were all saved for the very best Bonsai in the contest! All these lucky few were rightly so selected by my dear old friend Danny Use the owner of GINKGO BONSAI CENTER in Belgium. I vividly remember how I walked past it looking for where in the show I had to display my own Bonsai. And how I nearly dropped my Bonsai when I laid my eyes on this unique Masterpiece! This Pinus sylvestris Yamadori was then and still is a perfect example of a natural-looking Bonsai that has a great story to tell! And today after all these years I still truly believe that this jaw-dropping small big tree was and still is a benchmark in modern European Bonsai! There is absolutely nothing artificial-looking or hand made about this tree! It looks just like an old wind-battered pine tree that you can find somewhere high up in the Alps! Each branch is different from the others and together they tell a believable story of a strong by wind and seasonal storms battered old Pine! Every little detail is just right and stunningly beautiful! It is all so natural looking! And nothing seems overly styled, forced or created by hand! It is a true and rare thing of beauty! Bravo Gabriel, your Pine made my day all those years ago, and its natural tree-like beauty today still is a benchmark to strive for to me and others!
Hans van Meer.
Above: Around 1990. The humble Yamadori Pinus sylvestris of this story before any styling! Keep this image in mind and then slowly look/scroll down!
Above and below: Beautifully styled foliage pads with small needles!
Below: And here she is in all her majestic glory!
Below: In a tokonoma with a well-selected accent plant!
Below: In another Tokonoma with a scroll. (El Bonsai y yo) = The Bonsai and me.
Below: The rightful proud creator Gabriel Romero Aguade (ES) together with his amazing Masterpiece! Bravo Gabriel! For me, one of the very best Bonsai I have ever seen!
Tokonoma* = alcove in a Japanese room that is used for the display of Bonsai, scrolls, pottery, flower arrangements, and other forms of art.
Footnote: The pictures that I used for this tribute to Bonsai are found by me when I googled the artist name on the open internet. I could not find out who shot them so that I could have given them the credits for this?! If anyone knows who I can give credit for that or has problems with me using them?! Then please let me know and I will credit them directly or remove them promptly!
Hans van Meer.