Bonsai grown and cultivated by Walter Liew, and artwork of nature by Andy Kay and Michael Furuya are combined in the exhibit "Bonsai and Beyond," showing at Gallery Iolani at Windward Community College. A 50-year-old Chinese elm takes center stage in the gallery space.
Bonsai & beyond
IT'S not enough to cultivate good trees to appropriately display bonsai, says Walter Liew, one of the world's foremost bonsai masters.
'Bonsai and Beyond'
Where: Gallery 'Iolani,
Windward Community College
When: Saturday through Friday. 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and Sundays, with a bonsai demonstration 2 p.m. each day
"You must have composition," he insists. "You might have a good tree, but without the right pot and the right stand, the tree is like a beautiful lady who's wearing rubber slippers.
"The right stand is like the high heels."
The energetic Liew, whose passion for bonsai has fueled a decades-long, dawn-to-dusk dedication to the miniature trees, says a true bonsai expert is a scholar who understands Chinese poetry, painting and calligraphy as well.
Liew teamed up with Windward Community College art professor Toni Martin to present "Bonsai and Beyond," an exhibit of the trees alongside Asian artwork by Andy Kay and nature paintings by Michael Furuya. Martin teaches a gallery design class at the college and used the exhibit to provide students with practical lessons in the gallery.
Liew says that because bonsai is a representation of trees that have survived the forces of nature, a bonsai exhibit must also include representations of birds, which live in nature alongside trees. Furuya provided that component. Kay contributed calligraphy and other Asian art forms, such as silk-screen paintings and lacquer works.
"Bonsai and Beyond" runs Saturday through Friday at Gallery Iolani on the college campus. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and Sundays. Call 236-9155.
Liew will hold a bonsai demonstration at 2 p.m. each day in the gallery.
Fan artwork by Kay enhances the aesthetic experience of contemplating Liew's juniper, grown in the full cascade style, at right. The tree is 43 years old.
"Ohia Forest," an acrylic by Michael Furuya, is displayed alongside a juniper with rock formation.