|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,
May 26-28, 2017