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Ni Shun-Ten in Germany 2006

Images and Text By Walter Pall, Germany
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Ni Shun-Ten means 'Second Spring Show'. Don't ask me why a German convention has to carry a Japanese name. Anyway, two years ago we had the first Shun-Ten in Munich with Kimura and it was a great success. The plan was to establish one of the biggest conventions in Europe. We have the Gingko Award in Belgium in September every two years and then the Crespi Cup in Italy every two years from this year on, also in September. So a convention in March in Central Europe should be a good complement.

All these three big conventions are privately run. They have nothing to do directly with any club or association. They are on invitation only. To just be invited to submit a tree is a great honor. The aim is to have the highest standard of trees. They all also want international trees. These are not local shows. These are the Grand Slam Shows.

Contrary to what is custom in America these are EXHIBITS. People go there to see the very best trees. On the side there are demos and usually NO workshops. People do NOT go to conventions in Europe to attend workshops.

Here are a few impressions:

The venue was changed from last time and probably from now on is at a monastery which is about a thousand years old and is in the western outskirts of Munich, Germany, in Fuerstenfeldbruck.

The exhibit was in an freestanding building, what was probably once used as horse stables, we had room for around 100 trees. The very old wood construction seems to have been made for a bonsai exhibit. On the upper floor the space was perfect to put one tree on a rather large table in between two wooden pillars. So every tree had a setting like a tokonoma. I might be biased, but for me it was the best setting that I have ever seen in the world. Mr. Takeyama, the President of Nippon Bonsai Association was present and said a similar thing.

As always, KoB would like to give full credit to the owners of the bonsai presented in this gallery. If you are the owner or know who the owner is, please email Paul with the url to the picture and the owners name.

The Ground Floor

The upper floor, which was most delightful as venue

The crowd was way beyond expectations. Bus-loads from all over Europe came. I had the honor to lead through the exhibit with an ongoing tree critique, or rather 'tree inspiration' as I like to call it.

The welcoming tokonoma with a cherry just starting to bloom. Great!

Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

Corylopsis in full bloom

Mugo pine (Pinus mugo)

European spruce (Picea abies)

Wild pear (Pyrus communis) this tree had flowers which just started to open. It was the publics favorite. It made third place of the general judgment by the Japanese contingent.

European larch (Larix decidua)

For me this was the best shohin of th show: European spruce (Picea abies)

This was a bit larger than shohin size. It is an Austrian Black Pine (Pinus nigra Austriaca). It is most amazing that someone can make such a small beauty from material that is supposed to be 'impossible'

European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)

Crab apple (Malus sieboldi)

European spruce (Picea abies)

European spruce (Picea abies) this came in second in the overall judging. Sorry for the mediocre picture.

Procumbens juniper (Juniperus procumbens)

Trident maple (Acer burgerianum)

European larch (Larix decidua)

Mugo pine or Uncinata pŘine (Pinus mugo uncinanta)

Most trees had their own impressive setting like this big Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo)

The designer of the award sculpture for the overall winner of the show, Jos from Belgium; WP; the award; the winning tree

Spruce forest created by the European group

Japanese beech forest by the Japanese group

By now we have found out about the value of a tree critique (tree inspirations) also in Europe. The Japanese contingent discusses trees on stage with the editors of Bonsai Art, which is the equivalent of Bonsai Today in German.

There also was a really impressive ikebana show on the venue as well as a susieki show. Mr. Matsura was present himself.
Also a most impressive collection of bonsai literature was shown.

Trident Maple (Acer burgerianum)

Shohin setting

Shohin Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis)

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