How do you feel about the awareness and positioning of Bonsai overseas?
The fact that I know, three Bonsai gardens in Japan are being forced to close. Unless Japan, the model of Bonsai, occurs innovation, Bonsai in overseas will not change. Also, if Japan cannot present a new form of Bonsai, I believe that the Bonsai industry in overseas will create a new style with the concept of “De-Japan Bonsai”. It is important to understand the position of Japanese Bonsai internationally and spread into overseas.
What are some examples of cross-cultural collaboration overseas?
I think it will become “intercultural collaboration” just by working overseas. There are different types of Bonsai in different environments. Among them, when I saw the reaction of the audience at the Bonsai exhibition and a street performance at the gallery in Milan, I realized again the power of Bonsai.
© Masashi Hirao
In Japan, you work on the presentation of Bonsai that is suitable for new living spaces. What are you doing exactly?
In addition to lectures and performances, I do space design to offer hospitality for visitors or to let people enjoy the seasons.
What is the charm of Bonsai?
The part that I can learn something new from Bonsai every day. We can never understand the Bonsai completely.
View of exhibit at bar lien © bar lien
I think you have a passion towards every piece, but what would be the most memorable piece of work ever?
The work I created at Zojo-ji Temple in February 2017. In April 2017, when the World Cup of Bonsai called World Bonsai Convention was held in Saitama City, I was out of the loop and never invited. This work has “a big head” and expresses that “the buds of young people are picked because of egghead seniors with authorities, but the achievements of those young ones are wonderful”.
I would like to show Bonsai from a completely different perspective and provide a feel of comfortable balance between matching and mismatching with kolor’s clothes. There are currently no workshop performances planned.
Please tell us about your plans for the future.
I can’t tell too much about the details, but the Tokyo Olympics will be held in 2020, and I plan to create opportunities for more people to see Bonsai.
DESIGNART TOKYO 2019
Date: October 18th – 27th 2019 (10 days)
Area: Aoyama, Harajuku, Shibuya, Daikanyama, Roppongi, Ginza, Shinjuku
Organizers: DESIGNART committee
Grant: Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)