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Lingnan School
- Southern Chinese style -

The Crushing Waves of Golden Sand River Warm the Cloud-high Cliffs

"The cultivation of bonsai should be based on the natural qualities of the plant and artificial training should be kept to a minimum. Nature endows each species with special qualities and too much artificial shaping would ruin the tree. For example one cannot apply the age-old strength of the pine or the cypress to the delicate beauty of the maple or the bamboo.


For this reason, before deciding upon the style and arrangement of a plant, the grower must first study the species and in the process of dwarfing retain its good points and get rid of the bad, just as the accomplished artist who, while preserving the characteristics of the object he paints, brings out the best in the object with inspired strokes of his brush and makes it even surpass the original in beauty.


Artist of Lingnan school will first distinguish varieties, grasp the tree shape, make the best use of situation, discard the waste and retain the essence so as to keep the original style, and avoiding to follow the conventional pattern, to express the unique fine quality of the tree and to produce fine mini-scape with vivid and graceful bearing. The shaping method of branch retaining and trunk cutting is used to obtain ideal form through pruning each branch of the tree while the tying with wire for shaping is used as a last resort, and this is the basic principle of Lingnan school of art."


Wu Yee Sun


"In selecting bonsai materials, Lingnan school does not care about the pureness, size and variety of tree. So long as it has proper conditions, it is a useful material. Moreover, favourable geographic environment provides numerous varieties of useful tree bases. Different artists could cultivate artistic works of different styles out of trees of same variety with different shapes. The outstanding features of Lingnan school lies in the creation with flexible strategies and diversified shapes, trying best to avoid single pattern for variegated trees."


Wong Kee Mein


"Lingnan artists would make best use of the material collected, carry out perfect overall pruning after a lot of effort in conceiving and figuring without any kind of affectation, try the best to keep its natural shape and to have the natural great vigour and the primitive simplicity of the twisted roots concentrated in a pot, thus making the potted tree have both natural shape and live spirit and free from convention pattern."


Li Shaoqiu


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