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 Post subject: Literati Style (Bunjin)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:46 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:47 am
Posts: 70
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
This thread is for discussing Robert Steven's article "Literati Style (Bunjin)"

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 Post subject: Re: Literati Style (Bunjin)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:04 pm
Posts: 1
Hi Robert,

I think the error most people make in dealing with bunjin is that they define bunjin as a bonsai style in the same way like moyogi, shakan, etc, that is: classification of tree (and therefore bonsai) forms. In fact, bunjin is not a style in this definition and doesn't fit well in this row of bonsai portrays.

I like to join those people which state that bunjin is more an approach than a classification. But having said these words, we have the greatest difficulties to grasp the meaning of what this approach all about. And this lack of definition makes it very difficult to "talk about", to "discuss" and to "do" bunjin bonsai, because these actions are all based in rational thinking.

I've seen that some people have tried to make a guideline to define bunjin, but they only came with dull guideline like "a tree with 80% bare trunk" or "the one and only bonsai style which allows crossing branches, downwards growing branches", etc. In my humble opinion, these kinds of guidelines to define bunjin only drive us further in confusion.

Well, by now, my solution is to make the distinction between bonsai as a craft and bonsai as an art. In craft, people learn to make something beautiful within a framework of rules, guidelines, and develop the necessary skills. In art, one express one's feeling more freely. So, I see the bunjin as a bonsai art, and all the other styles as bonsai craft.

To be able to grasp the meaning of bunjin, one has to study these "wen ren" ideals and movement during that time. I've read that this movement was a logical reaction against what these "wen ren" believed to be "bad arts", "bad society", or "bad politics". I'm very interested in finding out what these all about, but have no further information yet.

Such things has also happened in Bali some years back, mentioning the influences of European Art Deco and the foundation of a Balinese artist group "Pita Maha" in 1936 which aim was to fight against the fall or decrease of high Balinese quality in wooden sculpture due to any negative influences of consumerism and/or tourism".

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