Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mission of Transformation, the controversy...

Robert Stevens second book Mission of Transformation has hit the street. There seems to be some early controversial comments surrounding the release of this book. I believe this initial controversy might very well stem from some preconceived notions surrounding the developmental phases of this book prior to its release, or folks that may or may not have been involved with the book and, in doing so may not render credit where credit is due, the author.

If transformation is a mission, dignity of life is the design
When we try to show everything we show nothing

Mission of Transformation is Robert's second book. For those who have or have read the first, this book is an excellent addendum to his first. The folks who understood "the man" and were moved by his first book, will see their artistic and aesthetic bonsai education further enhanced with Mission of Transformation..

The book is laid out in 10 chapters:

Bonsai and nature
The principles of good bonsai design
Transformation studio
Gallery and finally
Chronicle of a Premna adventure

Is this a Kokufu Ten book?

Was it ever meant to be a Kokufu Ten book?
Once again No.

So what is/was it supposed to be?
A mere extension of his first, using the average "Joe" vice a compendium of renowned and established artists (albeit, several well known artists have material in this book), I believe Robert's intent in choosing material x, y, z ( regardless of source), were representative of the thoughts he was trying to convey. To understand this volume one needs to go back to the beginning. Over the past couple of years Robert contacted many artists requesting permission to use their material for his second book, and thus the book was crafted from said submissions. In doing so, the collected material may not have been on par with trees professionally photographed. Although some photographs are indeed pixelated, this is limited to a single artist with the exception of a very old sketch. The old sketch is understandable, but the artists photos not so much so. In the end however I believe the message is more important than the medium used.

As in his first book the flow of information is descriptive and easily understood. Yet some folks would rather see pretty pictures than absorb the content. But hey we live in an imperfect world. To some, perfection is only found within ones individual surroundings.

My review

Bibliography: Robert's blog