Miniature marvel

An offshoot of the Japanese art form bonsai, saikei is also popular among gardening connoisseurs. Saikei literally translates to ‘scenery in a tray’. “In a city, it is impossible for us to stay in touch with nature, and imbibe its seasonal, aesthetic and contemplative experiences. And most of us don’t have the space to create a garden as well. But saikei makes this possible,” say Mumbai-based Jyoti and Nikunj Parekh, pioneers of bonsai-saikei in India, who were in the city recently for a workshop organised by Chennai’s Bodhi Bonsai Association. The couple are the founder-directors of the Bonsai Study Group of the Indo-Japanese Association, Mumbai, and over 35 bonsai groups from across the country are affiliated to it. Japanese master Toshio Kawamoto pioneered saikei in the 20th century to cater to people who were impatient to see the results of bonsai. While it typically takes about seven autumns (years) for plants to attain the maturity and beauty we associate with a bonsai creation, a saikei creation acquires a charming look in a matter of months. And since saikei enables you to incorporate a gorge, mountain or cliff, the format has a huge appeal. Saikei is also easier to maintain than bonsai, because watering is easier as the plants are rooted in plenty of soil. Saikei plants don’t require as much shaping either. “In saikei, harmony in arrangement, and a natural flow or direction in the scene is crucial,” says Nikunj. “Saikei may be created with plants like Serissa, Crassula ovata that is commonly known as the jade plant, tamarind, casuarinas and Ficus varieties,” say the duo who got to learn the nuances from Kawamota himself in 1984, when the master was in his seventies...........Read more


Source web page: The Hindu

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