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2023-2024 Four Seasons: An Exhibition of Deciduous Bonsai (Arrival of Each New Season is Acknowledged and Celebrated in the Japanese Culture)NEW

2023-2024 Four Seasons: An Exhibition of Deciduous Bonsai (Arrival of Each New Season is Acknowledged and Celebrated in the Japanese Culture)
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Date: Saturday, 16 March, 2024       Time: All Day
Shinzen Friendship Garden
114 W Audubon Dr.
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 840-1264
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Map of Shinzen Friendship Garden, 114 W Audubon Dr.

An Exhibition of Deciduous Bonsai.  The arrival of each new season is acknowledged and celebrated in the Japanese culture. This sensitivity to seasonal change is an important part of Shinto, Japan’s native belief system, which has focused on the cycles of the earth. Similarly, seasonal references are found everywhere in the Japanese literary and visual arts. A distinctive Japanese artistic convention is to depict a single environment transitioning from spring to summer to autumn to winter in one work. In this way, Japanese painters and poets expressed not only their fondness for this natural cycle but also captured an awareness of the inevitability of change, a fundamental Buddhist concept. This tradition expresses the confluence of Shinto and Buddhism in the use of seasonal references.

Exhibition Date
October 28, 2023 - March 16, 2024

The arrival of each new season is acknowledged and celebrated in the Japanese culture. This sensitivity to seasonal change is an important part of Shinto, Japan’s native belief system, which has focused on the cycles of the earth. Similarly, seasonal references are found everywhere in the Japanese literary and visual arts. A distinctive Japanese artistic convention is to depict a single environment transitioning from spring to summer to autumn to winter in one work. In this way, Japanese painters and poets expressed not only their fondness for this natural cycle but also captured an awareness of the inevitability of change, a fundamental Buddhist concept. This tradition expresses the confluence of Shinto and Buddhism in the use of seasonal references.

Bamboo Four Seasons
Bamboo in Four Seasons from Seasonal Imagery in Japanese Art

Shiro Nakagawa was acknowledging this tradition when he suggested the four seasons concept to Paul Saito, Shinzen’s original landscape architect. He was inspired by the 15th century Japanese artist, Sesshū Tōyō, famous or his 50 foot long hand scroll taking the viewer on a journey through the four seasons.

Our Four Seasons exhibition opening October 28 featuring deciduous bonsai will display trees with the last of their green foliage. As the weather cools and the days shorten, we can enjoy the gorgeous color display of the deciduous tree species. Some of these trees are selected for bonsai simply because of their spectacular fall colors. The gingko, for example, will show us intense yellow-gold autumn foliage. The fall color of the bald cypress is typically a lovely rust, We can see anything from yellow-orange to bronze hornbeams or the vibrant red of the Japanese maples.

After the fall color display has passed, bonsai show us another image entirely: the Winter Silhouette. When deciduous bonsai have shed all their leaves, we see the artistic skill that formed the structure of the tree. Only then can we fully appreciate the angularity and refinement of the branch structure. This is like the study of architecture or anatomy. Some bonsai exhibits are exclusively devoted to showing the trees in their Winter Silhouette, particularly for the appreciation of the patience and skill required to develop a beautiful “skeleton.”

This exhibition will also feature winter blooming bonsai including camellia and Ume (flowering apricot also known as plum blossom). At the end of the exhibition, the final seasonal image occurs when the bright green or red leaf buds of early spring emerge on the bare branches, bringing the journey of the seasons full circle. This is a dynamic exhibition that is worth revisiting a few times between November and March to fully appreciate the changing displays of the deciduous bonsai as they transform through the seasons.

Current Exhibition

Title
From Ancient Times to the Present, Japanese People Celebrate the Beauty of the Seasons Through Festivals &  Rituals During the Year

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Saturday, 16 March, 2024



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An Exhibition of Deciduous Bonsai - Shinzen Garden
Phone: (559) 226-8034

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