More than 100 bonsai beauties on display at BCF

Ying (second left) is pictured here with the owner of a prize-winning
bonsai entry (third right) and others giving their thumbs-up during the
prize-giving ceremony. On Ying’s left is former association chairman
Oliver Kuo.

Ying (second left) is pictured here with the owner of a prize-winning bonsai entry (third right) and others giving their thumbs-up during the prize-giving ceremony. On Ying’s left is former association chairman Oliver Kuo.

SIBU: Not content to just showcase Sarawak’s diverse ethnic cultures, the Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) is taking the extra step to encourage townsfolk to build a green lifestyle culture for their community by exhibiting more than 100 dwarf trees from across the state.

These bonsai or dwarf trees are currently on display at the garden fair on the roofed car park behind the main stage of Sibu Town Square.

The BCF which is spearheaded by Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) teamed up with the Sibu Bonsai and Horticulture Association to bring in the trees from Sibu, Miri, Kuching and Sarikei.

“We have gathered the hobbyists in Sarawak together to promote this art of traditional gardening. Together with the town council, we hope to cultivate this love for a green home environment,” said association chairman Ying Tieng Chai.

“We are holding this garden fair to promote the art of home gardening. We hope to instil interest in others to green Sibu town. Let’s start the efforts from our home.”

According to Ying, some of the tree species on display originated from China and Japan, with the rest consisting of species from local tropical forests.

He described the great pains they took to bring these prized dwarf trees by road to BCF from their various locations, placing the potted trees in boxes with other protective measures to avoid damaging the delicate, ornamental trees during transport.

After the exhibition, these dwarf beauties would have to go through the process all over again to return back safely into the hands of their owners.

With such painstaking efforts, Ying hoped the locals would share in their association members’ love for the gardening art and hopefully, they would also go on to green their home environment with other green plants apart from cultivating bonsai.

From the over 100 bonsai trees on display, over 30 were entered into last Saturday’s bonsai competition.

Ying was happy with the overwhelming response.

He thanked SMC for their support as well as sponsors and association members for making “Sibu Bonsai Landscape Competition and Exhibition 2016” a grand affair.

The association currently has over 100 members.

Ying said this hobby called for patience, care and love, adding if public members were interested to take up cultivating bonsai, they must first learn the skills of the traditional art.

“It is not the normal planting of any plant. A hobbyist must learn to prune, water and fertilize to maintain the size, shape and beauty of these ornamental trees.”

The association chairman said apart from bonsai trees, association members are also exhibiting other types of garden plants for sale–including those for indoor decoration– with a portion of the profit going to the association.

Bonsai is an ornamental tree grown in earthenware and dwarfed by pruning. The term also refers to the art of cultivating the dwarf tree.

It is a Japanese term to describe a tree grown in a pot or tray, borrowed from the Chinese phrase “pen-zai”, which is literally translated as “tray planting”.

This traditional gardening art originated from China and can be traced back to the Han Dynasty some 1,900 years ago.

It has also been depicted in early Chinese wall murals dating from the Tang Dynasty.

The Japanese brought over the art to Japan a few centuries later during their frequent travels by seas between the two countries.

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Source: http://miri.my/2016/07/26/more-than-100-bonsai-beauties-on-display-at-bcf/