The Bonsai Project by Sjoerd Knibbeler & Rob Wetzer

Assistant in the Slender West Lake garden, Yangzhou

It’s intriguing to think that all areas of life involve some form of craft. For me it represents anyone carrying out the skills to do one’s work, it doesn’t have to end up in the creation of a physical object. For example photographers really fuss over the intricacies of their craft, and there’s other miniature worlds you wouldn’t really know about unless you’re involved. I guess when you look hard enough you can discover them.

Sjoerd Knibbeler & Rob Wetzer have been exploring quite a close knit and secretive community. The documentary photographers have collaborated on “The Bonsai Project”, which started in 2009, because of their fascination for the experience of nature and the cultivation of our natural environment. Aside from my general interest in the subject, the link with all crafts is that they give us a sense of time, and the respect and reflection to care for things around us. Craftsmen often say that their work is a form of meditation, and I see definite links with the practice, no more so than in the art of bonsai.

Not only have have the guys produced some nice content on their website explaining the meaning of bonsai, they also showcase a selection of photography involving different bonsai artist’s from all over the world, most prominently China and South Africa. I have to commend Rob and Sjoerd for highlighting such individuals, it’s great that they’re exploring uncharted waters and are highlighting such individuals. Here’s just a small selection of photography from their website but I urge you to check The Bonsai Project for more.

Typology – Untitled #8

Typology – Untitled #5

View inside Slender West Lake garden in Yangzhou, China

Typology – Untitled #4

Typology – Untitled #2

Penjing Museum of the Slender West Lake gardens, Yangzhou China