This series of bonsai is by Chinese artist Shen Shaomin, show cased at Frey Norris Gallery. Shen shows them trussed and tugged by the thumbscrew brackets, collars and barricades that engineer their growth. The images and ways of forced growth are disturbing as it looks as though the plants are in pain as they are twisted into a deformity, against what is their natural growth pattern. Shen connects his bonsai sculptures with the Chinese tradition of forcing women to bind their feet from an early age to disfigure them into conformity with a certain ideal of female beauty. I was a little shock when I saw these images. A lot of people think that bonsai technique is cruel. Do you think Chinese Bonsai is tree torture?
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