Dutch artist Patrick Bergsma’s vibrant bonsai sculptures defy the constraints of porcelain vases, offering a captivating representation of nature’s strength and resilience. Within his art, flowering branches, gnarled roots, and lush mosses break free from fragments of discovered pottery, encapsulating moments of transformation and growth.
Growing up in a family deeply immersed in the world of antiques, Bergsma was surrounded by a rich tapestry of art and historical objects. As he honed his own artistic craft, he found himself drawn to the treasures that adorned his parents’ shop and home. In his ongoing “Expanding China Series,” the artist pays homage to the global history of porcelain.
Bergsma explains, “What we typically associate with Dutch aesthetics, such as Delft blue, originally aimed to emulate the immensely popular porcelain imported from China and Japan.” His compositions also tip their hats to the Japanese art of kintsugi, which replaces metallic, mended pottery seams with dense mosses and tenacious roots.
Initially, Bergsma used real bonsai trees that were either diseased or deceased, seamlessly incorporating them into fragmented vessels. However, recognizing the potential for revitalizing these ailing specimens, he embarked on crafting lifelike replicas using a blend of coconut fiber, polymers, kaolin, and quartz. Within his studio garden, a growing collection of bonsai trees serves as a point of reference, guiding his choice of colors and materials to achieve convincingly realistic reproductions.