This afternoon, I created this pot of penjing – my very first, which made up of eight juniperus chinesis of various sizes between 13 to 20 cm and their average age are two to four years old to resemble a miniature forest. These trees were replanted into a purple clay tray with the length of 40cm. It will take another year or two for this group of trees to mature. I just can’t wait for to see how they are going to turn out to be. And certainly, I will create more if time and space permits besides the material such as beautiful rocks and healthy plants.
Penjing, which originated from bonsai is a living art created using miniature bonsai trees cultivated in pots for some years, along with shaped rockeries and sometimes, other materials to create aesthetic representations of natural landscapes.
This art with life was first introduced during the Southern Song dynasty which capital was at what is today’s Hangzhou, a paradise on earth so beloved by the literati and rulers alike. There is a saying that 上有天堂，下有苏杭 which loose translate as “there is heaven up there and Suzhou and Hangzhou down here”, putting Suzhou and Hangzhou as equal heaven on earth.
For centuries, penjing are created as an art with the aim of “seeing the big from the tiny”. It is also said that penjing is created as a method of self-expression to convey personal emotion. As for myself, I do not know what kind of emotion that I am trying to convey when I created this penjing but it will certainly be emotional to see it mature and turn into a miniature forest of juniperus chinesis.