Award for
Innovative Bonsai Design

There is and always will be a place for classical bonsai and there is no demerit in those who devote their endeavors to achieving a classical goal. However, by definition, art demands creativity and originality and must never allow itself to become hidebound by predetermined formulae. For bonsai to become established as Art we must demonstrate that such demands can be met; that we are not limited by our chosen medium; that we are capable of original concept and do not fear to challenge those who believe the greatest masters have already lived.

To further this end I have regularly sponsored the Ho Yoku Award for Innovative Bonsai Design, thus far adjudicated at the National Exhibition. Unfortunately, in 2014 the judges seemed to find the selection of a winner too much of a challenge and chose to present my sponsored award to my own tree, even though there were two other exhibits that were far more daring and ground-breaking than my own modest penjing style offering.

I am pleased to announce that henceforth the Ho Yoku Award for Innovative Bonsai Design will be awarded annually at the ABS convention. It is my hope that this will encourage enthusiasts with courage and vision to spread their creative wings, to dare to challenge, to explore new avenues so that others who follow might be similarly inspired and encouraged.

The $250 award will be presented to the exhibitor of the tree that the judges select as being the best aesthetically sound and daringly original bonsai concept. Age, refinement, even workmanship are of secondary consideration; the primary judging criteria will be originality of concept. 

There are no entry requirements, the winner will be selected from among all trees exhibited, regardless of size, history or category.

If you are thinking of entering a tree for the Award, NOW is the time to start preparing it, not next year at the last minute. If you're not thinking of entering, please reconsider: this is your chance - our chance - to move our art forward and to establish the USA in the vanguard of progressive bonsai.

The next award will be judged and presented at the ABS/BSF Convention
at the Florida Hotel,
Orlando, FL
May 26-28, 2017