Friday, January 25, 2008

Mountains in the Sea (Ho Non Bo)

Mountains in the Sea
by Phan Van Lit
ISBN 0881925152 HC pp.232
Published 2001
Timber Press Inc.

Connaisseurs of miniature landscapes have long studied and appreciated the arts of Bonsai from Japan and Penjing from China. Until very recently, however a few outside of Vietnam have known of an equally distinguished and vibrant art form known as "Hon Non Bo", mountainous island in the sea.

While bearing some similarities to Bonsai and Penjing in its use of stone and trees, Hon Non Bo is a unique discipline influenced by the landscape of Vietnam with its mountains, coastal scenery, and lush vegetation.

A “hard cover” book depicting the methods of re-creating miniature landscapes. It goes on to describe the tools necessary to work with rocks and stones, amazingly these are not expensive or “really” specialized items. It contains a good description on how to create waterproof concrete slabs/pots, as in this particular book the use of water in the landscapes is predominant. One is not to worry; water and trees are kept separate.

Mountains in the Sea will appeal to readers of many backgrounds. Bonsai and Penjing enthusiasts will be inspired by a fresh approach to miniature landscapes presented by a master artist.

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