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Mysterious Bonsai Illusion - "The magical dragon only shows his head and not his tail"

04/03/20

Water & Land Penjing 

Robert Steven, long a favorite on Bonsai Bark and teacher to countless students around the world, posted the three photos* shown here on Komunitas Seniman Bonsai IndonesianIn. To his eye they all share a perspective and a mysterious illusion which he explains below

Here's what Robert wrote about the mysterious illusion...
"In Chinese aesthetic, this seven words phrase explains an essential concept in penjing (bonsai) design, namely the perspective and the “mysterious illusion” created by certain technique of composition.

"The translation of these words may sound ridiculous “The magical dragon only show the head and not the tail”; but for those who know the language, the literature, the culture and are practicing Chinese Penjing, they know how to implement the conceptual essence of these words into their artistic design works. This “abstract” concept of Chinese philosophy is difficult to define into other language in short phrase, but this is the soul of almost all oriental arts!"
Continued below...

 

According to Robert, the hidden base in this photo has created mystery 


Robert continued from above...
"The artists who made the bonsai in these photos may not realize, but they apply and visualize the concept. See how the curving and diminishing flow of the strait on the Water & Land Penjing creates the perspective and the depth at the rear side; also see how the other two bonsai with the hiding base have created the mystery and provoke artistic illusion.

"Exposing all elements in any artistic design is not a good technique, showing everything is showing nothing !

"There are many others in bonsai design which we can apply the concept of this Chinese phrase to improve the perspective, create depth and mystery." 


Another hidden base

*Non of the photos shown here are identified, though at least two are familiar to us

Here's your link to Robert's post on fb


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