Oriental Arts - South Africa website is a community website for various oriental arts. If your club, association or organisation is not listed, please email us: info@orientalarts.co.za

Cape Bonsai Kai Annual Bonsai Show

The Cape Bonsai Kai Annual Bonsai Show takes place at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens from 16 to 19 December 2010.

Naked Scientists

You may ask what naked scientists have to do with oriental art of bonsai. The naked scientists can be viewed at http://www.thenakedscientists.com/ and have a wide range of articles and podcasts about the "bare essentials" of science. The following facts about trees caught my attention:
Scientists flush out root cause of how trees lift water
Tree leaves keep it cool
Biological Domino Effect - No Elephants = no Ants = No Trees
So much to learn ~ Ian

John Naka - Grandmaster

John Naka (August 16, 1914 - May 19, 2004) was born John Yoshio Naka in Ft. Lupton, Colorado. He was born a second-generation Japanese-American, but soon moved back to his parents' home country where he extensively studied the art of bonsai, due to his grandfather's influence. He moved back to the United States, this time settling in California, and became a very important force in American bonsai art in the 1950s-60s. In Orange County, Naka founded a bonsai club, which is known today as the California Bonsai Society. Naka was a driving force in the spread of bonsai appreciation and the practice of bonsai art in the West. He published two books, entitled Bonsai Techniques and Bonsai Techniques II, texts that are revered as being the bibles of western bonsai to many artists. Naka's most recognizable work is Goshin, which means protector spirit. It is a group planting of eleven foemina junipers, each tree placed to represent one of Naka's grandchildren. The planting can be seen on display at the National Arboretum. Information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Y._Naka.

Bonsai Techniques and Bonsai Techniques II available from:
Bonsai Institute of California
PO Box 6268 Whittier
CA 90609-6268 - Tel: (562) 943 5020

Bonsai on the Net

Lindsay Farr's WorldOfBonsai Series 2 premiere info from Lindsay Farr on Vimeo.

Information about bonsai on the internet has increased over the past five years. There are, however, some websites that make the search for information worthwhile. Lindsay Farr of Melbourne, Australia, has posted a gem of World of Bonsai videos. Each insert runs for approximately ten minutes and it is worth downloading the series. The series is great viewing for beginners as well as advanced bonsai growers. Many thanks to Lindsay Farr for giving us something very special. Go to Lindsay Farr's World of Bonsai series.

The public face of Peter Warren, a young British Bonsai artist trained in Japan with a lot to prove and an even more to offer. "Unusually for a Western bonsai enthusiast, my passion for Bonsai began in Japan and almost by accident. However it soon blossomed into a full blown obsession, taking me on a long and arduous path studying at one of the top bonsai gardens in Japan for four years before leaving to start working on my own. I stand in the unique position of having a purely Japanese bonsai education from one of the worlds most well known masters, Kunio Kobayashi." Peter Warren offers a good spread of galleries, articles of a technical nature as well as apprenticeship in Japan. Go to http://www.saruyama.co.uk/index.html

Cheryl Manning has also given us an image gallery of Art, Bonsai, and John Naka. I never met John Naka. The people that have taken the time and trouble to teach me bonsai were influenced by John Naka's teachings. In short, I feel that I need to know much more about this wonderful man. Cheryl also gives a record of her days as a bonsai apprentice in Japan. Go to Cheryl Mannings website.
Hope you enjoy the links ~ Ian

Chinese Astrology

Chinese Astrology Life Readings. Four Pillars of Destiny is one of the branches of Chinese Astrology - read more

Book - Bonsai - Kuns in die kleine

Pieter Loubser started Bonsai art in 1982 and has has published a book in Afrikaans. The book is to be translated to English. A DVD is included as well as 120 sketches and 130 photos of various bonsai, tools and pots. Watch this space for the English version.

loubserSedert 1982 is Pieter Loubser al intensief besig met Bonsai-kuns. Sy Bonsai-CV is baie lank en indrukwekkend. Hy word dwarsoor Suid-Afrika gereken as 'n kenner van Bonsai-kuns en tree gereeld op by Bonsai-geleenthede. Die leser word deur hierdie boek genooi om binne-in die hart van die Bonsai-kuns te kom loer. Hierin sal jy al die inligting verkry om jou eie Bonsai te stileer en te onderhou.

Bonsai - Kuns in die kleine is 'n samevoeging van noodsaaklike pitkos met betrekking tot versorging van Bonsai. Geen doekies word omgedraai nie. Bonsai-kuns word as kunsvorm belig, maar die tegniese en tuinboukundige raad vul hierdie juweel van 'n boek pragtig aan. Die inligting word logies en in verstaanbare taal vir die leek aangebied. Ervare Bonsai-kwekers sal hulle verkneukel in die kompakte inligting, maar dit is ewenseens vir enige vlak van beoefening. Daarom hoort die boek aan jou sy wanneer jy aan jou bome werk.

Die 120 sketse en 137 foto's van veral Pieter se bome, bakke, gereedskap en tegnieke, wys vir jou hoe moontlik dit is om pragtige Bonsai in 'n kort tyd te skep. Hierdie boek is klein en kompak, maar bult van die massa inligting wat daarin vervat is.

Die DVD wat by die boek ingesluit word neem jou op 'n reis van kleur en vorm, deur ontwerpe en versorging van Pieter se bome in sy tuin. Baie van die Bonsai is nog nooit deur publiek gesien nie, en min mense was al saam met Pieter in sy Bonsai-tuin. Hier is nou só 'n Bonsai-kuiergeleentheid in jou woonvertrek. Besoek http://www.griffel.co.za/Bonsai.htm

Book - Bonsai Masterclass

Craig Coussins new Book, Bonsai Masterclass has now been published. It brings together some of the worlds most innovative and interesting Bonsai masters and technicians at the top of their art in their own countries. Few Bonsai artists have heard of some of these outstanding growers working in Bonsai and Penjing. A feature of Bonsai Masterclass is the inclusion of work from two of South Africa's leading masters, Rob Clausen and Charles Cerronio. Due to the generosity of a number of growers, Craig has also been able to show a number of wonderful Bonsai from South Africa in this new book. Craig, a fan of South African Bonsai, featured masters in his last book Bonsai School and this new book follows that format of promoting the best in various countries which includes South Africa.

bookThe format of this new book follows on in the style of his last book, Bonsai School . The success of Bonsai School and subsequent letters and testimonials made Craig create the book in this particular style. Overall Bonsai Masterclass took two years to write. It has 250 pages, is in a large format and has around 1000 photographs in the book.

Having spent some considerable time in Japan photographing many collections and exhibitions for his next book due out in 2009, in spring 2007 Craig will be visiting some major collections and growers of Penjing in China to look at the development of Bonsai and Penjing in the new Millennium. The next book will also include work from other artists around the globe. It is extremely pleasurable for Craig to be able to promote these other artists and let people see the growth of Bonsai in other parts of the world. Many Bonsai artists around the world may not get that chance. That is why Craig searches out artists who are doing interesting and innovative work and are at the top of their field.

As well as many stunning bonsai techniques there are a number of different, but related, Bonsai arts including The Tokonoma, Suiseki, Gongshi and Saikai.

In Bonsai Masterclass, masters and bonsai subjects from the following countries are included:
France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Scotland, England, Wales, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Japan, America, Hawaii, New Zealand, China and a section, never before seen, with John Yoshio Naka creating a large Juniper Group on a visit to Scotland in 1984. Along with Peter Adams, John Naka was Craig's teacher for a number of years.

Book available from:

Book - Bonsai Styles of the World 2

stylesBy Charles S. Ceronio
There is no other book that provides such an in-depth view of the subject. Virtually all there is to know about bonsai styles, from windswept literati to informal saba-miki. More than 800 illustrations showing over 40 styles and their variations. This new edition is basically the original version with a new cover and a few more photos.

Book avalable from:

Book - Bonsai Success in Southern Africa

morrowBonsai Success in Southern Africa is unique in its approach, making it stand out among the available crop of books on bonsai. It is tailored specifically for Southern Africa, giving particular attention to Southern African trees used as bonsai, and to tools, containers and material that are locally available. The tree on the cover, designed by Thys Klem, is a wild olive or swart olienhout (Olea europaea spp. africana) grown from seed in 1971, thus making it 32 years old. The species notes at the back of the book consider the suitability of some 37 indigenous tree species as bonsai.

The authors: Carl Morrow is a botanist and a passionate bonsai artist and collector. Co-author Keith Kirsten's name is highly recognisable in gardening circles. The structure of the book allows everyone, from the novice keeper of a single tree or two to the dedicated master to benefit, and progresses logically from "dabbling" to "devotion". The often local designers of the trees illustrated are recognised as artists and duly acknowledged.

Most people are happy simply to care for their few small trees, bought or received as gifts. They would find most bonsai books, delving immediately into the history of bonsai and carefully explaining the process of creating a tree from raw stock, rather intimidating. The basic instructions on how to keep the tree alive are often hidden within the chapters that give complicated care instructions wrapped up in details of the horticultural needs of the different species used in bonsai. The authors are thus presenting this book in the form of a logical progression from when someone wants to keep their first tree or two alive and thriving, through expanding their collection up to the stage where they realise they have become dedicated to the art and feel the need to buy a wider range of more advanced literature.

Book out of print.

A little something about Bonsai Centre Olive Grove. It is the home and nursery of Pat and Rudi Adam situated in the Western Cape of South Africa. I have been a member of Rudi Adam's bonsai group for a while and shall attempt to document the events of the bonsai group which meets on Saturday afternoons. The first is an image gallery of the group which was taken in May 2008.
Go to the Olive Grove Bonsai Group ~ Ian