In mid-October I took my first trip to Europe. My wife has traveled there multiple times for work, but I had only previously traveled internationally to destinations in Asia and Oceana.
The timing for the trip was to coincide with the Bonsai-San show in Saulieu, one of the largest and best bonsai shows in Europe. The inspiration came from a desire to meet people from Europe, and get a chance to see some of the great work that is being done with bonsai there. At least a year ago I started following Jan Culek on Instagram and have been fascinated with his incredible stone creations. They are available in the US from Bonsai Mirai and in Europe and the rest of the world from Jan’s website.
Arriving at the show in Saulieu, which is about a three hour drive southeast of Paris, I immediately appreciated some of the details of the setup of the hall and show. The venue is a large room with high ceilings and ample natural light provided by an overhead row of skylights. There were dozens of vendors selling trees and pots, and they were arranged in a ring around the display area.
Check out the video for some images and some pretty cool dancing by my son Travis.
The display itself featured all black felt backgrounds, table coverings and skirting with red floor covering. The darkness of the surroundings lends a drama to the trees while the natural light allows for a good chance to examine the details of the trees.
I was able to stop by Jan’s stand where he was selling a number of rock towers and trees. I brought back the arched composition below to San Francisco (packed it in a suitcase and didn’t have to pay extra, yoink!) for Jan’s November visit, more on that later.