If you grow bonsai, create bonsai, show bonsai, teach bonsai or appreciate bonsai, you are participating in an art form that has taken root all over the world and an industry sector that has grown to meet the needs of bonsai enthusiasts.
From its origins in China it has spread all over the world: Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Australia, Europe, South Africa, South America and North America.
A new generation of young people from Europe, the USA, and South America serve formal apprenticeships with Japanese masters, some for a six-year period.
Artists in many countries are creating world-class trees. Some countries have Japanese-accredited schools. Other countries and regions are developing their own style of bonsai that reflects their geography and climate. Bonsai Conventions around the world draw thousands or participants and tens-of-thousands visitors.
In North America, you’ll find a bonsai club or society in every major city along with bonsai nurseries who grow, sell and also teach bonsai. Many vendors of trees, books, tools, pots and supplies can be found on the Internet. For a listing of bonsai clubs in Canada and the US, go to www.absbonsai.org.
From how-to to coffee-table art, books on bonsai abound. There are hundreds of titles in English by authors which include John Naka, Herb L. Gustafson, Paul Lesniewicz, Harry Tomlinson, Colin Lewis, Dan Barton, Amy Liang, Peter Chan, and Deborah R. Koreshoff. Many of these authors can be found at the Winnipeg Centennial Library.
Educational videos that present the basics of bonsai to videos featuring advanced techniques are available from our local Club library and Online. Arthur Skolnik’s The Growing Art of Bonsai is a very good English language educational video. Bonsai Empire offers excellent Online bonsai courses taught by experts Bjorn Bjorholm and Oscar Jonkers. Many excellent artist show their work in progress on You Tube.
In North America, magazines devoted to bonsai include; Bonsai Focus, BCI Bonsai & Stone Appreciation Magazine, International Bonsai and ABS Bonsai Journal. These magazines feature the work of the best bonsai artists from around the world.
Fine bonsai collections in North America can be found at the Montreal Botanic Gardens, the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific in Victoria, BC, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Steinhardt Conservatories, National Arboretum in Washington, DC, the Pacific Bonsai Museum, WA and private collections such as Elandan Gardens in Seattle, WA and Mirai Bonsai in Portland, Oregon.
Bonsai Conventions abound. Whether regional, national or international these conferences draw participants and visitors with demonstrations by bonsai masters, specialized workshops and lectures. International conventions often offer related tours before and after the convention. These are great opportunities to mix a holiday with a bonsai adventure.
The Bonsai Society of Winnipeg can be your gateway into this fascinating world of bonsai with on-going programs and bi-annual workshops that feature internationally recognized bonsai artists and teachers.