Jointly sponsored by the Taipei City Park Department and Taipei City Bonsai Association, the 2020 Taipei Hanfeng Bonsai & Suiseki Exhibition (台北漢風盆景雅石展) was held at Shilin Official Residence Park (士林官邸公園) from October 9 through October 15.
Well-attended opening ceremony
A grand opening ceremony was held at the Park’s outdoor music stage on the morning of October 9. Presided over by the president of Taipei Bonsai Association Jenny Chang, the ceremony was attended by nearly 200 people.
Besides representatives from 14 bonsai associations across Taiwan, other distinguished guests include three countries’ ambassadors, other diplomats from 13 other countries’ embassies or Representative Offices to Taiwan, and delegates of bonsai associations in the United States, Germany, France, South Korea, and Indonesia. Please watch the following video of the 2020 Taipei Hanfeng Bonsai & Suiseki Exhibition.
In her welcome remarks, Jenny Chang indicated that all the bonsai trees on display are exquisite and precious, including some rare or long-living ones, such as the broad-leaved podocarpus (羅漢松), the black pine (黑松), and the orange jessamine (月橘). She also mentioned that about 20 of them are over 100 years old, and the combined value of all these bonsai trees amounts to more than NT$100 million (US$3 million).
When invited to speak at the opening ceremony, Amy Liang (梁悦美), internationally renowned bonsai master and honorary president of the National Bonsai Association of Taiwan, said that bonsai has become an integral part of Taiwan culture, and it helped her recover from depression.
Entries of the exhibition
More than 100 amazing artistic bonsai and landscape bonsai in over 20 different species, as well as two dozen curious stones, were displayed at the exhibition. And all of them are very elegant and precious.
The bonsai trees and curious stones that won the first 10 places will enter the National Bonsai & Suiseki Exhibition to be held in Changhua County in November to compete with other entries selected from similar local exhibitions across Taiwan.
DIY side event
The Taipei Hanfeng Bonsai & Suiseki Exhibition also included a DIY side event that allowed the general public to experience the fun of creating their own bonsai and get a feel of growing miniature trees or plants. The event was free of charge, but participants needed to sign up with five Taiwan Government Uniform Invoices (統一發票). And all the invoices collected would be donated to charity.
Benefits of the exhibition
This Bonsai & Suiseki Exhibition attracted thousands of viewers. It has provided an opportunity for the general public to gain a deeper understanding of bonsai culture, and enjoy the excitement of creating their own bonsai.
The popularity of Taiwan bonsai
Taiwan is famous for growing bonsai trees, and Taiwanese people often refer to bonsai as silent poetry, 3-D paintings, and living art. Not only is Taiwan bonsai loved by local people, but it is also highly appreciated by many people around the world.
One of the 45-year-old Shou Niangzi trees (壽娘子) on exhibit is themed “Wind Gone (風飄).” It is so elegant and beautiful that a prince of an Arabic royal family truly loves it. He even once sent a delegation to Taiwan trying to purchase the bonsai at a high price. But it was eventually turned down by the owner, as she just wanted to keep that precious bonsai in Taiwan.