Grand Indonesian Bonsai and Suiseki Exhibition 2014

The Indonesian Bonsai Society (PPBI) celebrated its 35th anniversary with a grand bonsai and suiseki show, October 11-19, held simultaneously at two locations! One in Bandung city in West Java, the other in the resort island, Bali. Several international masters such as Kunio Kobayashi, Gede Merta, Ng Shing Fat, Min Hsuan Lo, were invited to give demos. Since my wife and I were going to Bali around that time, we scheduled our trip so that we could attend the show.

The PPBI has about 15,000 members and 135 chapters throughout the country. Such a large organization attests to the popularity of bonsai in this country, and no wonder, we see many outstanding trees and talented bonsai artists from Indonesia.

In Bali, the exhibition was held out door at the Badung city hall. Individual trees were displayed in rows on tables or pedestals, no companion plants nor Japanese style displays. There are two to three hundred trees, all are medium to large trees. This is an outstanding show of tropical bonsai at its best.


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We saw some awesome Pemphis acidula by the well-known Bali bonsai artist, Gede Merta, he had several trees on display in a non-competitive section.  His Phemphis are wild collected trees with gnarled trunk, branches, beautiful in and shari. With the small leaves, the tropical Phemphis (called Sentigi in Indonesia) is just as good as a Shimpaku Juniper for carving jin and shari, and creating a lot of movements in the tree.

With the help of Adhy Satya and Budi Sulistyo, both are organizing committees of the show, I was able to visit Gede’s nursery. I will write a separate blog on this visit.

Here are Master Gede’s Pemphis acidula:


This Pemphis won the 2012 Bonsai Cafe Pro Award.

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Gede Merta’s ficus with fine aerial roots, grown by fusion of young seedlings. This tree is an image of a big bayan tree commonly found in Bali.


Details of the fusion and aerial roots.




Ficus ampelas with fruits.


Defoliated Ficus ampelas in banyan style by I.W. Suwendra of Sanur, Bali.


Another defoliated Ficus ampelas.




A medium size root-over-rock Premna microphylla with several show awards.

Pemphis acidula is perhaps the most popular species used for bonsai in Bali. I estimated about 20% of the trees in this show are Pemphis.

More Pemphis:


Mr. Ngurah Wirawan and his Pemphis. Ngurah spent some time with me walking around the exhibits. Pemphis requires misting with sea water once every two weeks, he added rock salt to the pot surface and watered regularly instead of using sea water.


Awards winning root-over-rock Pemphis.


Arrangement of the foliage pads.


Details of shari, live vein and bark.


Bunjin style Pemphis.

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Unknown species, interesting red berries.


Yes! It is a flowering azalea in the tropic. It grows in the higher elevation part of Bali.


Premna microphylla.


Ficus mircrocarpa.


Fukian tea.


A very large Ficus microcarpa, Kingman (Golden Gate) cultivar. Height: 110 cm, about 43″ .


Murraya paniculata.

Vendors area has a lot of trees from seedlings to show ready specimens.

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