In Bursting Bonsai Sculptures, Patrick Bergsma Taps Into Nature and the Deep-Rooted History of Porcelain — Colossal

1695048730 In Bursting Bonsai Sculptures Patrick Bergsma Taps Into Nature and | RetinaComics



Art

#Bonsai
#kintsugi
#Patrick Bergsma
#porcelain
#sculpture
#vases

September 18, 2023

Kate Mothes

“Royal White Pine” (2023). All images © Patrick Bergsma, shared with permission

Resisting the confines of porcelain vases, Dutch artist Patrick Bergsma’s vibrant bonsai sculptures illustrate the strength and resiliency of nature. Flowering branches, gnarled roots, and lush mosses rupture from shards of found pottery, capturing moments of transformation and growth.

Raised in a family of antique dealers, Bergsma was surrounded by art and historical objects, and as he developed his own practice, he was drawn to the collectibles that filled his parents’ shop and home. In his ongoing Expanding China Series,the artist references the rich, global history of porcelain.

“What we call typically Dutch, like Delft blue, was originally an attempt to imitate the very popular porcelain imported from China and Japan,” Bergsma says. “In this series, I often use these 17th-century ‘imitations’ combined with the natural elements like bonsai and ikebana.” The compositions also nod to the Japanese practice of kintsugi, replacing the metallic, mended pottery seams with dense mosses and clinging roots.

Bergsma initially used real bonsai trees that were either diseased or dead, incorporating them into broken vessels. Conscious of the possibility of reviving the diseased specimens, he began recreating lifelike versions using coconut fiber, polymers, kaolin, and quartz. A growing collection of bonsai trees in his studio garden provides a reference for choosing the right colors and materials for convincing replications.

Explore more on Bergsma’s website, and follow Instagram for updates.

 

A GIF of a rotating sculpture of a bonsai tree bursting out of an antique vase.

“Abandoned Vase”

A sculpture of a bonsai tree bursting out of an antique vase.

“Cracking Tulip Vase” (2020)

Two images of sculptures of a bonsai tree bursting out of antique vases.

Left: “Falling Branch” (2022). Right: “Intertwined” (2020)

A sculpture of a bonsai tree bursting out of an antique vase.

“Apple Blossom” (2021)

A sculpture of a bonsai tree bursting out of an antique vase.

“Arita” (2022)

A sculpture of a bonsai tree bursting out of an antique vase.

“Imari Blossom” (2023)

A sculpture of a bonsai tree bursting out of an antique vase.

“Makkum Blues” (2023)

#Bonsai
#kintsugi
#Patrick Bergsma
#porcelain
#sculpture
#vases

 

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You’ll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!