'Big Blue' Mirai video

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'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by TimS »

Mirai just posted this video of Big Blue

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpAljrIq38Q

I'm going to get a shedload of hate here, but all i see is yet another 'green helmet'. I fee like an opportunity here to break free of convention with some really special material was missed.

I readily accept i couldn't begin to create the tree as was done here, i just find that the design managed to take something really interesting and make it bland.

Thoughts? Am i being totally unreasonable and should embrace the green helmets?
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by BirchMan »

I saw it this morning. I've got less of a problem with the green helmet than the unnecessarily large deadwood smack across the bottom of a lot of large junipers, totally ruining any sense of scale. Makes it look old sure, but more like a really old pot plant than a bonsai IMO.

Just because you can have it, doesn't mean you should. Great skill involved in getting the tree to where it is of course.
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by treeman »

TimS wrote: May 14th, 2020, 4:52 pm Mirai just posted this video of Big Blue

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpAljrIq38Q

I'm going to get a shedload of hate here, but all i see is yet another 'green helmet'. I fee like an opportunity here to break free of convention with some really special material was missed.

I readily accept i couldn't begin to create the tree as was done here, i just find that the design managed to take something really interesting and make it bland.

Thoughts? Am i being totally unreasonable and should embrace the green helmets?
You are NOT being unreasonable at all and no there is NO NEED to embrace the green helmet.
I have thought about this subject quite a bit and have come to this conclusion.
The formation of the ''dome'' is pre-programmed into the consciousness of the bonsai practitioner. It goes something like this: Low sweeping branches are considered beautiful and a sign of age (particularly by Japanese standards) and therefore desirable. To maintain the low sweeping branch, it requires light. Therefore, to receive this light, the branches above must be shorter, but they must also reflect the style of the low branch. They must be the same but shorter/finer versions of the the low branch. The mould has been cast and there is no other result than what you see here. No amount of verbal tossed salad by Ryan (6:02 in the video) changes the fact that almost every single modern practitioner of bonsai remains trapped in the same narrow minded vortex of convention.
How do we break the mold? :mrgreen: . Stop looking at bonsai and start looking at trees. Learn that there is another more profound kind of beauty and realize there is no blueprint to guide you so you WILL make mistakes and your work will not be understood if you go your own way.
old jun.JPG
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by Keels »

TimS wrote: May 14th, 2020, 4:52 pm .... Am i being totally unreasonable and should embrace the green helmets?
Gday Tim,

First off thanks for posting the video. I love Ryan, i think he dribbles on a little to much in his videos but his work is amazing. Amazing work done to big blue. Imagine what it will look like in years to come.
I find that i really struggle to move past this dislike of what you call green helmet design in this forum. I don't understand it. I'm not anywhere near an expert but i don't mind the look on pines or junipers. Now I'm not a fan of helmet designs done on local native material but i can see why they do it to exotic material. To me it looks like it takes skill to create them but I guess there is so many people doing helmet designs its tough to find someone who isn't to admire.
treeman wrote: May 14th, 2020, 5:37 pm Stop looking at bonsai and start looking at trees

I drive past this street in queanbeyan NSW and in the middle of the road is a pine... Styled in your classic over the top helmet design. How cool is that :lol:
Screenshot_20200514_180640_com.google.android.apps.maps_copy_432x936.jpg

Anyway my too bobs of nothing :tu:
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by MJL »

Hmmm.... Hmmmm..... :lost:

Whatever floats your boat. I don't feel compelled to embrace anything nor on the flip side, to dismiss designs either .... but hey I live in grey; I don't see the world in black and white.

What I see in this tree is symmetry (Green) ... and perhaps the blue lines might represent a more rugged line and less foliage would probably represent my taste but... it ain't my tree. Which is good for everyone because in my hands it would likely be dead.
Screen Shot 2020-05-14 at 10.06.24 pm.jpeg
What I see is a tree I wish I had but I see that often. Too often. :palm: I see trees I envy in Treeman's trees, I see that in Matthew's trees, Boom's trees, Anthony trees, PeterH's trees - Rory, Sno ... Sh!t nearly everyone around here has trees I wish I had.

What I am learning (by studying other's work and trees in nature) - is that.... I won't get anywhere by copying...I can't copy nature anyway! With my own little collection of forests and trees and I can experiment and of course, I hope that others like 'em when friends visit but in truth, I am trying to bring to life something that exists only in my mind... (and changes as the trees grow). In taking this approach - slowly, very slowly - I hope I am getting better at this crazy hobby.
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by greg27 »

Oh god, Ryan Neil... the guy is undoubtedly talented but he does like to go on. I shudder every time I hear him say "bone-zaye".

Yea, not really a fan of this tree. It has this lovely old gnarly base with a neat little helmet on top. Ryan can bang on as much as he wants about asymmetry and juxtaposition and contrast and whatever other fancy words he likes to throw out but it doesn't do it for me.
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by Rory »

Treeman has nailed it again.

:imo: the amount of bombastic and pretentious descriptions from the Mirai website is painful. :palm:
There is nothing pleasing about another green helmet.
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by TimS »

Pretentiousness is a key feature of Mirai it seems. I very occasionally listen to the podcasts but struggle with Ryan’s incessant need to complicate everything.

I liked the one with Denis Voitija I think it was on deciduous trees, but it was agony having a really easily understood 20 second explanation by Denis be drawn out into a 5 minute monologue by Ryan.

Given his business model is selling knowledge, maybe he feels that people won’t stump up their memberships on the back of clear explanations.

I’m going on a rant here; I fully acknowledge his talent, just the need to expound at length on every single topic grows old quickly.
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by TimS »

I know I’m going off like my thoughts on a professional’s work is worth a hoot; anyone who has skimmed any of my incredibly average trees on here will know that I really don’t have a leg to stand on, but it is just tedious seeing the same designs be applied on every tree
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by KIRKY »

100% agree, Its like seeing a punk rocker with a bowl cut done by his mum.
Ryan starts off talking about how raw, rugged, unrefined, this magnificent old specimen is and then...... well you know what happens then. “The tree talks to him”......... its saying PLEASE DON’T give me a bowl cut!
Rough, old, gnarly, material like this shouldn’t be subjected to a manicured, topiary top ever :imo:
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by treeman »

Trees like this are supposed to represent a wild tree growing on some weather beaten precipice on top of a mountain. Taking the full brunt of every storm and the constant thrashing of wind from mainly one direction. Right?

oldjun4.JPG
oldjun3.JPG
oldjun2.JPG
oldjun.JPG


So where is the prevailing wind coming from here? left? right?
bigblue.JPG


If you want an authentic look you must remember that foliage (if any) on the windward side is sparse and very short always. It MUST to be.
You certainly won't get graceful cascading branches on that side and hardly ever on the other side either.
That's not an opinion.
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by GavinG »

Well gentlefolk, the challenge is out there. Having a "default position", whether it be green helmets or left-right-back patterns makes life easier, and I see myself fall back into habits very easily. It's bl@@dy difficult to make each tree original, and have its own essence, unlike another, and saying something distinctive. Very difficult indeed.

I agree with how incongruous a wild massive complex yamadori trunk looks sitting under its neat little unrelated helmet, but making each tree interesting, complex and reflecting nature in detail is going to be complicated. Ask me in twenty years how it went...

Dan Robinson has less of the pattern-consciousness and more "make each branch speak something interesting" than most, for me. How that relates to natives is anyone's guess. After seven years of developing Eucalypt trunks, my own "patterns" and habits are clearly emerging, damn and curse my unimaginative mind.

Onwards, gentlemen and ladies, and let's make this interesting....

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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by GavinG »

And wouldn't you get thrown out of a judged bonsai show if you came up with anything like Treeman's 3rd or 4th photos!!

Off we go.

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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by JC_squid »

Bit of a tough one I think.

I am very amateur in this world but watch a lot of clips etc to learn. I’ve watched a lot the stuff released by Ryan and listened to his podcasts amongst many others.

At the end of the day this guy is in the business of bonsai and makes his living from it. I think if you look at all of his stuff and listen to his podcasts you can hear he has his own internal debate about traditional and accepted bonsai vs the artistic freedom and expression outside the accepted norms. He has to style to win titles and appeal to the masses to ensure his income. On the flip side from his podcasts I think he definitely encourages people to explore outside the norms and accepted forms etc.

As someone not to deeply immersed in the greater Bonsai world I don’t get the green helmet debate. It’s a fashion and fashions change. If you like it awesome. If you prefer other styles then that’s ok. Whatever makes you enjoy the trees. I get the criticism but still take something away from the tree he has created. I’d definitely keep it if he gave it to me!!

Why feel such angst over a style? Maybe I’m missing the point?
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Re: 'Big Blue' Mirai video

Post by treeman »

JC_squid wrote: May 15th, 2020, 5:20 pm still take something away from the tree he has created.

So what is it that you take away JC?
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