In Training: Bonsai Photography By Stephen Voss Exhibition

Celebrating 40 Years of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan in collaboration with the National Arboretum and National Bonsai Foundation

Bonsai is the ancient Japanese art of "tray planting", or growing trees in containers. The tree and its container for a single, complimentary unit, each reflecting the shape, texture, and colour of the other. Over the years, each branch and twig is shaped and trained into a chosen bonsai style, and then maintained and improved on through a constant regime of pruning and trimming. No matter how old, the trees remain “in training.”

Featuring works from his fine art photography book, Stephen Voss' In Training was inspired by the empathy of the practitioners reflected in the trees, which often outlive their original caretakers. Through capturing the peaceful presence of the bonsai, and their humble, rugged beauty, Mr. Voss hopes to present a new way of looking at these trees - a fresh, but respectful interpretation of the artist's intent.

This year, The United States National Arboretum and the National Bonsai Foundation celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. Founded when Japanese bonsai enthusiasts in the Nippon Bonsai Association donated 53 bonsai and 6 viewing stones to the people of the United States, the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum has one of the largest collections of these timeless trees in North America. In honor of this anniversary, the Japan Information and Culture Center is proud to host this exhibition of Stephen Voss' photos of the arboretum's bonsai collection.

Stephen Voss headshot


Stephen Voss was born and raised in New Jersey. He now lives in Washington, DC with his wife and their two children. He has been recognized by Photo District News Photo Annual, American Photography Annual, Communication Arts Photography Annual and The White House News Photographers Association. His work has been published by Time, The New York Times Magazine, Stern, Wired, Outside, The Atlantic and National Public Radio, among others.

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