Bonsai Master Young Choe: Lecture and Demonstration

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Program Description

Event Details

Young Choe will be doing a lecture and demonstration on kusamono and kokedama, the companion plantings that are displayed with bonsai.

Kusamono refers to a Japanese botanical art that developed alongside bonsai.  Kusamono are potted arrangements of wild grasses and flowers in unique pots or trays selected to suggest a season or place. The name is composed of two Japanese characters-- “grass” and “thing”—which together suggest humble, everyday plants.

Kokedama is a ball of soil covered with moss on which an ornamental plant grows. The idea has its origins in Japan where Kokedama are very popular.  Loosely translated, ‘koke’ means moss and ‘dama’ means ball. 

Young Choe is a kusamono artist who studied traditional art in her native Korea before moving to the United States and earning her BS in horticulture from the University of Maryland. While volunteering at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, she brought her artistic talent together with her knowledge of horticulture to create kusamono. As her interest developed, Young traveled to Japan to study the unique art form with the master kusamono artist, Keiko Yamane, a former student of Saburo Kato. She worked for many years with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) including the U.S. National Arboretum. Young is considered a leader in the field and enjoys conducting workshops and lectures nationally as well as internationally.

More information about Young Choe can be found here. 


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This event is part of HCLS' Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month series. Find additional resources here.