Chinese Art Of Bonsai – Penjing

Chinese Bonsai Tree

Chinese Bonsai, also called Penjing, is about creating a miniature tree or a landscape in the container. Chinese artists believed that by better understanding nature they will improve their spiritual development.

This beautiful art form was originated in China thousand years ago. Bonsai was created by highly educated aristocrats of China, inspired by nature, poetry and landscape paintings. These different art forms were linked closely together.

Each area of China had its own bonsai style, specializing in a certain species of tree, certain training techniques and certain type of design. There is a deep Chinese philosophy behind each bonsai tree and landscape scene. It is more about revealing an untold story and discovering mysteries of nature.

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Japanese and Chinese Bonsai Differences

Chinese Bonsai TreeChinese Bonsai, known as Penjing, was created in China thousand years ago and got to Japan during period of Zen Buddhism around 1195.

Once it was introduced into Japan, bonsai art began to develop in its own way.

At first, only aristocrats of Japan had access to this kind of art. It was a symbol of prestige and honor. But as time went by Chinese bonsai got very popular and was introduced to the public.

Simple bonsai art was refined by Japanese artist, who created a set of rules and shapes. Because Japanese bonsai art was born from Chinese bonsai they both have a lot of similarity that makes it sometimes quite difficult to distinguish.

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Chinese Bonsai Rules

Chinese Bonsai TreeChinese Bonsai (Penjing) has much less strict rules and is more philosophical and spiritual form of art than Japanese bonsai. Chinese and Japanese bonsai have their differences but are very closely related and are sometimes difficult to distinguish.

A high quality Chinese bonsai composition has to look entirely natural. Although there is more freedom in the Penjing, many of the general bonsai rules still apply.

To create a successful Chinese bonsai composition you need to know basic training techniques and be familiar with plant maintenance like re-potting, watering, feeding and etc.

After learning main Chinese Bonsai Styles and rules you’ll have better control of your bonsai. It will make it easier for you to pick the right tree for your bonsai.

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