12/25/2011 (press release: Kneecap) // Hayward, CA, USA // Boon Manakitivitipart
Bay Island Bonsai presents its annual bonsai exhibit January 14–15, 2012 at a new location; the Oakland Lakeside Garden Center (located at the Gardens at Lake Merritt), 666 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, California. Hours: 10am–4pm, Saturday and Sunday. The admission is FREE, but donations are gladly accepted.
Guided tours of the exhibit will be provided on both Saturday and Sunday, with an auction on Saturday 1 p.m. (preview at noon). The show will also feature vendor sales, club sales and educational bonsai material for sale. There will be a benefit drawing, and you need not be present to win.
Bay Island Bonsai holds its annual show, “An Exhibit of Fine Bonsai,” in winter, because its members believe that is when many bonsai look their best. Winter allows viewers to see pines between growing seasons, early blossoms on flowering cherries, and the well-developed branches of deciduous varieties. The show has received warm acclaim from the local bonsai community and attracted several hundred enthusiasts from across California. For more information, go to www.bonsaiboon.com/pages/bib_exhibit.html
About Bay Island Bonsai (“BIB”)
Bay Island Bonsai is a Northern California organization founded in 1998 by internationally acclaimed bonsai artist, Boon Manakitivitipart. The organization came into being out of Boon’s desire to improve standards in bonsai, to produce a bonsai exhibit, and to establish a group of dedicated bonsai artists who could work and learn together.
Since its founding, Bay Island Bonsai has been open to all bonsai enthusiasts in the greater Bay Area who are dedicated to learning bonsai. The purpose of Bay Island Bonsai is to teach its members to recognize, create, and maintain high quality bonsai.
Members of all abilities are encouraged to gain competence in the art as quickly as possible and achieve this through regular meetings, hands-on workshops, and the careful study of bonsai display.
Each winter Bay Island Bonsai members demonstrate their knowledge by staging a memorable show, “An Exhibit of Fine Bonsai.”
Bay Island Bonsai’s Sensei, Boon Manakitivitipart
Boon’s start in bonsai was the result of a birthday gift: a small juniper bonsai. Before long, he joined the Bonsai Society of San Francisco, the club through which he took his first beginner class in the spring of 1989. Anxious to learn as much as possible about bonsai, Boon studied with as many teachers as he could find in California.
Serious study began when he hosted Akio Kondo, Kihachiro Kamiya’s first apprentice. Mr. Kondo arrived as what the Japanese call a first-year professional, and stayed at Boon’s home for one year.
In 1993, the Golden State Bonsai Federation awarded Boon a Teacher Development Scholarship; two years later, he received the Ben Oki International Design Award for styling a Sierra juniper. In 1995, Boon received several informal offers to study bonsai in Japan. Months later he traveled to Japan where he studied bonsai for his first year as an apprentice with Yasuo Mitsuya.
Later, his “bonsai home” became Kihachi-En and his master became Kihachiro Kamiya, a great bonsai master with multiple national awards. Boon said once, “He showed me bonsai standards through his amazing talent and deep personal integrity.” Boon returned repeatedly to Japan for prolonged periods of bonsai study until his master’s passing in January 2004.
In 1998, Boon founded and became the teacher of Bay Island Bonsai, and started his business, Bonsai Boon. In April 2000, Boon won the Grand Prize in the Kindai Bonsai Styling Contest in Japan (sponsored by Kindai Bonsai Magazine). Contestants styled large Japanese white pines. Boon was the only non-Japanese in the contest. The World Bonsai Contest recognized Boon’s trees in 2000, 2001, and 2002 as among the world’s top 100 entries, and his students’ trees have been recognized in every year’s contest to date.
In 2010, Boon was awarded the “Professional Certificate” by the Nippon Bonsai Association (Professional Branch) in recognition of his five-year study of bonsai in Japan. For more information about Boon, you can visit his personal website at www.bonsaiboon.com.