Living Art Bonsai - Wolf-D. Schudde

Wolf-D. Schudde was born March, 21st. 1945 in Kreischa near Dresden during the bombings carried out by the Allied forces. His mother died as a consequence of this so he grew up with his grandparents in Cologne, later in Osnabrück. After studying painting, graphic art and calligraphy at the Folkwang School in Essen, he worked with great success as art director and later as creative director and manager in several international advertising agencies.
When he realized that his career affected his development as an artist - as he also in his paintings had to only satisfy the current zeitgeist, a major criterion of commercial use graphics, instead of bringing his passion to it - he decided never to touch brush and canvas again. Instead, he turned to the subject of Bonsai. Schudde’s first contact with Bonsai was when he studied Japanese calligraphy. Here he was again unaffected by the success of mechanisms of modern commercial art. Within a few years he became one of the most successful and most respected Bonsai designers outside of Japan. From 1989 to 1997 he edited the magazine "Bonsai Creativ ..." which became the standard for creative use of bonsai in Europe. In the intense debate on the topic of Bonsai, his restless creative spirit soon noticed that even in Japan, the homeland of bonsai, Bonsai had stagnated for centuries. Bonsai copied itself instead of developing. Bonsai had become Arts and Crafts. But Schudde was an artist in the true sense: he created a new path for bonsai and he was the first who took that route. Since then, there have been some who have chosen his path; to use Bonsai alongside unfamiliar objects and thus create "abstract art". The most famous of these is probably Nick Lenz.

Schudde’s particular desire to find a European path for Bonsai gave rise to the situation that in Europe not only were the traditional Japanese perspectives imitated, but a distinct European view would arise. The result was what he named "living art". This was also the reason why he mainly from a traditional point of view took inferior trees - often just ugly ones - and created therefore something completely new and free. The German Bonsai scene was very divided! Many people did not like Schudde’s work; some even despised it. Some of Schudde’s works were so emotive that they caused several emotional outbursts from visitors, some of whom actually attempted to destroy the works. But others paid high prices for Schudde’s Living Art and appreciated him very much. All this is now decades ago. Today Schudde is a "star" if you will. He died at Christmas 2002. In his lifetime He won numerous awards for his work, such as the Ben Oki International Design Award. One of his most famous works "Tormented, tortured, and still I live!" was dedicated to Amnesty International. Today there are very few exhibits left and I have the great honour to maintain the majority of these. Some of his works are now even in my own possession, and I appreciate them very much because of their history and their purpose.

"...where the sun winds blow..."
from the series In the frenzy of colours.

In this design, the bamboo is a symbol for the Life motto “bent but not broken”

For those who know how to read these images, 
 they provide wisdom in the face of the superficial nature of our time.

"Tormented, tortured, and still I live!"