A twisted pine tree emerges from a mound of moss, which is actually the shell of a giant tortoise. Couples of birds and frogs sit on the branches while deer and elephants poke their head around the foot of the tree. The tortoise itself grows from a bowl, which sits in the middle of a miniature city. The entire piece, rests on a cabinet, just like any indoor bonsai plant might.
The idyllic, almost Noah’s arc-like settings, are part of a new series of acrylic paintings by Japanese artist Takumi Kama.
Kama’s new series of paintings include “Giant Tortoise Bonsai,” “Toad Bonsai” and “Small Turtle Kokedama,” as well as the Zen rock garden-inspired “Moon.” Bonsai are carefully manipulated plants that are significant in their simplicity, harmony and age. Kama’s paintings seem to represent nature’s harmonious coexistence with other elements. And yet the paintings remain surreal and mysterious. The abundance of animals is both natural and unatural at the same time, and seem to negate the presence of the human hand.