Shohin workshop Hamburg


Two great days with shohin workshop in Hamburg. Trees styled and changed, and a special display workshop we managed too with good results and testing different set-ups. I was impressed by the engagement in both workshops. Everything organized by Reiner Kurps, and with very committed students in a relaxed atmosphere. As workshops should always be. Look forward to meet you another time.


To dejlige Shohin-bonsai workshopdage i Hamburg, arr. af Reiner Kurps. Træer blev designet og arbejdet grundigt med, og der kom fine resultater ud af det. Jeg var imponeret over engagementet og lysten til at prøve opstillinger af, som alle kastede sig ud i selvom mange ikke havde prøvet det før. God stemning med hyggelige mennesker, som jeg håber at se igen en anden gang.


Shohin Bonsai Danmark

Vi er godt igang, og er glade for de nye medlemmer som løbende tilmelder sig. /  We had a good start and enjoy seeing new members joining continuously. 


Shohin bonsai er en speciel gren af bonsaikunsten, hvor der er fokus på årstiderne i opstillingerne. De små bonsai arrangeres i grupper, hvor alm. bonsai udstilles enkeltvis. Harmonien mellem træerne, og fokus på sæsonnes skønhed er essensen i opstillingerne. /  Shohin bonsai is a special branch of the bonsai art, with focus on the changing seasons when displaying. The small goods are arranged in groups, in contradiction to classic bonsai displays where the trees are arranged as single presentations. The harmony in the display and arrangement of shohin bonsai together are the essence of the display.

Japanese Black Pine Photo: Yu Hiroshi
Japansk Sortfyr / Japanese Black Pine
Photo: Yu Hiroshi

I vores medlemsblad som udkommer 4 gange årligt, og på hjemmesiden, vil vi løbende uddybe og forklare hvordan Shohin bonsai dyrkes, og grundigt beskrive hvordan de arrangeres på udstillinger. / In our members magazine that is published four times a year, we will cover how Shohin bonsai are grown, and in depth about display issues.

Se mere på / Have a look at 


Shohin Brasilien / Shohin Brazil

Brasilien har et meget varierende klima, som kan gøre det vanskeligt at dyrke Shohin bonsai i de varme egne. Men småbladede arter som Ficus nerifolia egner sig godt til Shohin bonsai i varmen.

Brazil has a great climatic span from warm to colder regions, and especially the warmer areas can be a challenge when growing Shohin. One specimen that is well suited for Small Shohin bonsai is the small leafed variety Ficus nerifolia. 


Jeg deltog i den første nationale forsamling i Joao Pessao, hvor man forsøgte at samle alle bonsai klubber fra hele Brasilien, hvilket er en større udfordring i så stort et land. Shohin blev præsenteret i et tre timers foredrag og demo med lokale træer.


I attended the first convention in Joao Pessao, gathering all clubs in the big country, which is quite a challenge. With a three hour speech and demonstration with native trees Shohin bonsai was presented for the audience.


Shohin bonsai har været på bonsai dagsordenen nogle år nu, bl.a. pga. Mario A.G. Leals indsats med egne arrangementer og online Shohin konkurrencer. Interessen er stor at dømme efter reaktionerne på demostrationen, så jeg glæder mig til at følge udviklingen fremover.


Shohin bonsai has been at the agenda for some time now in Brazil. One of the reasons is the efforts of Mario A.G. Leal who has organized several events and online contests with Shohin bonsai. Judged by the reactions and interest in the demo, I look forward to see Shohin flourish on the Brazilian bonsai scene.

Se flere fotos af både shohin og større bonsai på Shohin Bonsai Danmark

See more photos with both Shohin and larger bonsai at Shohin Bonsai Danmark 

China photos ending / Sidste Kina fotos

The final photos from the China bonsai tour is  now available at  De sidste fotos fra Kina er nu lagt på 


A fantastic experience, viewing the very best of Chinese bonsai (Penjing), and the look into a future where Shohin bonsai seem to be flourishing. Still the larger bonsai are dominating the Chinese market, but it is also clear that the small sized trees will take their part of the bonsai scene. As it is happening in Europe now and have been for a longer time in Japan.


Turen til Kina var en unik oplevelse, hvor vi fik set noget af det bedste bonsaikunst i området, plus et kig ind i fremtiden hvor Shohin bonsai ser ud til at udvikle sig markant. Det er stadigvæk de meget store bonsai (Penjing), der dominerer det kinesiske marked, men det er også tydeligt at de små træer vil indtage bonsaiscenen. Som det sker i Europa, og allerede er sket i Japan.


Mini-bonsai (shohin) exhibition in China

The 2nd Mini-bonsai exhibition September 2014 in Changzhou Qinxin Garden was an experience and a surprise to me. I had not expected something like this when I was invited to China to be part of this event.


At the exhibition I counted about 130 Mini-bonsai displays and many of high quality. Shohin- or Mini-bonsai, are growing rapidly in popularity in Japan, and in the west too. But clearly also in China, who can now make an event like this, showing the best of Mini-bonsai although still having a very short history of this type of bonsai. Not at least set up against a more than 1300 year history of bonsai in China.

Mini-bonsai has a different perspective than normal larger bonsai. Where large bonsai are displayed by themselves to show the beauty, strength and elegance of the tree, Mini-bonsai are focused on showing the beauty of the season too. This is done by displaying two or several trees together in a harmonious display, where flowering trees are important in summer, fruit bearing trees in autumn, and as deciduous trees do in winter, bringing out the feeling of the season.


Shohin and Mini-bonsai are poetic displays, bringing joy to the viewer. So when I have put all the technical stuff aside, not looking on trees pointing in the right or wrong direction i.e., and just look at the displays, joy is the word that came in to my mind first. The playfulness and purity of the shown displays is still what is filling me with happiness after watching the exhibition. Something I also noticed in the faces of the many guests attending the event.

There were clear signs of the traditional Chinese Penjing style in many displays, while others had inspiration from Japanese bonsai culture or a mixture. All put together in a professional set up with each display area divided and framed with beautiful wood carved frames. The overall impact as a visitor must be joy, seeing so many displays in one place in a so well done arrangement in the impressive Changzhou Qinxin Garden.


The opening ceremony and the way we as visitors have been received were overwhelming. The friendliness and hospitality will be remembered by us all I am sure. This kindness is somehow reflected in the way Mini-bonsai is displayed. There are many items in each display, using figures and arranging the display freely. The style is reflecting the cultural background, as it is in Japan, and as it is in my country in Europe where I have my background. The world of bonsai and Mini-bonsai will undoubtedly have its influence on how we approach and display.

We will in future not only have our own perception and national way of doing the art, but also we will be adapting what we see in a global world, exchanging not only knowledge but also aesthetical views and ideas. And not at least, and of great importance, sharing friendship in the name of bonsai.


The world of Mini-bonsai is playful and it is fun. It is also accessible to many people who will be able to find this kind of bonsai easier to access and finding it easier to achieve material less expensive than larger bonsai. Exhibitions like this are opening the eyes for more people to find the beauty and appreciate it.


Mini-bonsai in China will certainly grow rapidly in the time to come as it is all over the world. Also in Europe, where the first national Mini bonsai association British Shohin Bonsai was formed in 2005 under the name British Shohin Bonsai Association. Followed by the Shohin Bonsai Danmark organisation in Denmark, which I established this fall with Johnny Eslykke and Torben Pedersen. I look forward to see how Mini-bonsai will grow and develop the next years, in China, Japan, Korea, Denmark, Europe and the rest of the world.

View all 163 photos from the mini-bonsai exhibition at 


Bonsai Ambassador China

Back after a fantastic bonsai trip to China. This is the first of several posts from the tour, arranged by Shanghai Botanical Gardens and the organizers of the Mini Bonsai Exhibition in Changzhou. The first event took place at Shanghai Botanical Gardens. In occasion of the 40 year jubilee of the establishment of the Bonsai (Penjing in Chinese) Collection in the gardens, a big celebration took place.


After a visit in the bonsai garden a meeting took place. The agenda of the meeting was to celebrate the jubilee of the garden, and signing a collaborative agreement between Shanghai Botanical Gardens and Denmark for the development of International bonsai culture. Done trough the signing of MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). Selected countries also signed this document that also is a agreement of helping each other with friendship and support of bonsai culture internationally and between the countries signing.

Invited representatives from US, UK, Poland, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, China and Denmark (presented by me), took part in the event. Both board members from associations and others.


I had, with other participants, also the honour of being appointed as Ambassador of Shanghai Botanical Garden for the promotion of Bonsai art.

Receiving the honour of being appointed as Ambassador of the bonsai collection at the Shanghai Botanical Garden. Including life time VIP membership.

The Chinese bonsai (Penjing) has another aesthetic impact than the classical well known Japanese bonsai style. Penjing is the origin of bonsai, dated more than 1300 years back in time. With this knowledge it is amazing to watch the Chinese styled bonsai, that have another more stylish and figurative expression than the Japanese style that seeks perfection and a more “accurate” representation of a tree in nature.

A present to the garden was a poster with the names of all invited masters and chairmen i.e. with our autograph handwritten. This poster is now placed central in the main building to be watched by visitors.

Some photos shown here, and the rest are available at the website photo section.


Shohin-bonsai in China

In a few days I will be in the air on my way towards Shanghai, China. The reason is an invite to see a Shohin-bonsai exhibition i.e., kindly sponsored and invited by the Shanghai Botanical Gardens. So this is just a small teaser to get you all exited (as I am), because I will of course show a lot of pictures and tell you about what is happening at the Shohin-bonsai scene in China right now.

Shohin-bonsai. I leave my collection to be cared for when I am away :-)

In a little more than two weeks time I will be back, and show whats happened in China. Direct after the China trip I will be in Spain doing a Shohin workshop. This I will also blog about of course. I will leave my pc at home and just enjoy two weeks packed with Shohin-bonsai and bonsai, and hopefully get plenty of photos. See you online at your pc or tablet in October.