The Art of Penjing
Thanks to the repeated generosity of the Shanghay botanical Garden, Montreal is the porud gardian of a rich collection of living masterpieces of the old art of penjing. Like the Chinese Garden itself, penjings are the result of a quest for harmony between man and nature. Genuine miniaturized living landscapes, penjings concentrate the essence of the universe, source of all energy.
This art of growing trees in pots originated in China more than 1700 years ago.
During its long history, the art of penjing, lite that of painting, has been marked by a number of major regional styles inspired by surrounding landscapes. Thus the Southern School (known as well as the school of Lingnan) features vigorous tapered trees with pointed tops. It uses the “grow and prune” technique. The Northern style is used especially for evergreens and calls for the trunks and branches to be pruned and wired.
Artists in Shanghai also use grafting and carve the trunks.
Each penjing is a unique work of art, and like a poem, it is a silent tribute to nature.
Photos of penjing: (c) GrandQuébec