Which is the best way to transform a plain space into a personal, warm one and a visual delight? Well, the solution is an art object or a plant. But there is also bonsai, the Japanese art form that uses miniature trees grown in pots or containers. The bonsai artist will use his talent and imagination to create shapes that invite to contemplation. These trees have the gift of capturing our eyes and caring us to imaginary forests. They are a brilliant touch of style, calm and sophistication.
The term ‘bonsai’ is the joining of two words: ‘bon’ which means container or pot, and ‘sai’ which means plant or plants. The word bonsai is used in contemporary English to define all miniature trees that are grown in pots or containers by using special methods to control their growth.
Bonsai artists claim that there is a real psychology behind making a bonsai, a magical link between your life and the shape of your bonsai. In fact, the miniature trees evokes the viewer’s schema for a full size tree.
From this perspective, bonsai seems like a magician work, an art of illusion as young, small trees have the appearance of older, larger trees. In creating this illusion, the pot and the place of the bonsai have their significance as they should remind us of the life and the environment of a big tree suggesting cliffs, mountains or open fields. But bonsai does not aim only to replicate nature, but its philosophy is to capture the essence of nature. When looking at the bonsai, the viewer will, in fact, be watching a normal tree.
This image is a small gift, a real stimulus for mind and imagination. They can act as a psychological anchor caring us into a world of wild nature and divine harmony where daily small problems will lose their substance. Photo credits A. Davey and Sage Ross