Bonsai | Penjing: The Collections of the Montréal Botanical Garden
The Montréal Botanical Garden’s collections of bonsai and penjing are among the best in North America, including more than 350 trees, some dating from the 17th century. For the first time, these stylized horticultural creations have been brought together in a single volume, illuminating the evolution of the aesthetic tradition of this Asian artform. Featuring beautifully rendered photographs of many of the miniature trees in the collection, Bonsai | Penjing: The Collections of the Montréal Botanical Garden offers an up-close view of these extraordinary specimens. Miniaturised reflections of their natural environment, these works of horticultural art translate the world views of bonsai and penjing masters from different philosophical traditions. In a few instances, they integrate contemporary North American vision of the ancient Asian traditions.
Author Danielle Ouellet interviewed many of the artists who created these works, in some instances travelling to Asia to meet with some of world’s contemporary masters of the art form. As a result, she brings alive an historical portrait of the art form, its underlying aesthetic principles, and an understanding of how to view and interpret the captivating living culptures of the Bonsai and Penjing traditions.