Moreover, bonsai is not just about trees. A bonsai composition for presentation includes a vessel and a table arranged in an appropriate spatial setting. The timing of a bonsai presentation is also very special. It happens in front of visitors, when the tree is in its most beautiful state. A large portion of the time the artist spends with the bonsai to achieve this state is dedicated to painstaking watering and pruning. The popular image of a bonsai composition involves a traditional Japanese room alcove replete with a hanging scroll and suiseki, or small decorative “viewing stones.” According to Kato, however, a bonsai composition does not have to be placed in an alcove and it is possible to enjoy bonsai in a contemporary setting as long as it conveys a story that smoothly
integrates all elements of the space where the bonsai is placed.
“The important thing is to display the bonsai, appreciate it, and develop a connection with it. This forms the foundation for more sophisticated bonsai cultivation techniques and understanding of the tree’s individuality.”A life with bonsai is a life with a higher aesthetic consciousness. It involves learning the traditions and historical background of this ancient art and considering the contemporary living space from the perspective of bonsai. There, you can find the condensed essence of Japanese sensitivity.