Penjing: The Chinese Art of Bonsai: A Pictorial Exploration of Its History, Aesthetics, Styles and Preservation
by Zhao Qingquan
Penjing is an exquisite Chinese traditional art. The two Chinese characters for “penjing” (“pot” and “landscape”) capture the essence of this art: sculpting microcosms of the beauty of the natural world from plants, rocks, soil and water, both as an artistic process and as horticultural cultivation. This art form originated in China and spread to Japan during antiquity, and then subsequently from Japan to the West in modern times, and throughout the world today.
Both penjing and bonsai are art forms that express the beauty of nature. In China, bonsai, as a part of penjing, is often called “tree penjing,” or “tree in a pot.” The Chinese divide penjing into three categories: tree penjing, landscape penjing, and water and land penjing.
This book showcases the Chinese art of penjing in all its aspects for the benefit of penjing aficionados and all other readers interested in Chinese culture. It covers the concept, history, categories, aesthetic features, techniques, display, appreciation, and maintenance of penjing. It is a feast for the eyes while providing a wealth of information for the academically inclined as well as the practically minded.
Penjing: The Chinese Art of Bonsai is included in our New Books List for March 23, 2015.