Moving Bonsai Forward
American Bonsai respects the rich history and tradition of Bonsai, while challenging the norm and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
Bonsai has always been a collaboration between people and local natural resources. In recent years the drama of naturally stunted trees collected from the harsh conditions of America’s mountains, deserts, and coastlines has opened new doors in the art. The wildness of American material speaks to the freedom of American culture and offers a unique opportunity to expand the palette of material used in American bonsai.
Critical to any world-class Bonsai are the ceramics, woodwork, tools, and other supporting elements. American Bonsai supports local artisans and craftsmen who are doing exceptional work in these areas.
Bonsai can take many forms. From a straight upright specimen to a cascading tree that drops below the rim of the container, the form a tree takes represents the environment from which it came. Although tradition still holds a place in the foundation for bonsai, the modern American aesthetic deviates from traditional, symmetrical Bonsai. It instead captures more of the unbridled, natural form of the tree as it appears in the wild through asymmetry and dynamic movement.
While we are passionate about celebrating this bold new expression of the millenia-old tradition of Bonsai, The Artisans Cup will exhibit a wide variety of tree species and design aesthetics, provided they show care and artistry.
Learn more about the exhibition.