A steadily growing subset of the millenia-old artform, led by Ryan Neil and his groundbreaking Bonsai incubator Bonsai Mirai, American Bonsai honors tradition while pushing the artistic boundaries of what is possible. But one thing has remained missing: A world- class exhibition of American Bonsai, showcasing the best and brightest talent in tree design as well as the artisans who are creating stunning supporting design elements such as ceramics, woodwork, tools, and more.
Skylab Architecture designed a full-scale exhibition for The Artisans Cup at the Portland Art Museum. This exhibition and competition is the leading expression of American Bonsai, showcasing the highest level of craftsmanship and skill in this experimental environment intended to engage and inspire a new era of Bonsai artists and vision.
Our approach had to marry the display of 72 living trees (which had a wide range of scales) while at the same time delivering a cohesive and powerfully immersive narrative experience for both Bonsai practitioners and general public audiences.