European Convention 2018 at Arco

Arco (Trento)  May,  4th-6th 2018
E.B.A. e E.S.A. Conventions
 XXII U.B.I. National Congress

XXXIII Arcobonsai

Report by Mrs.Gudrun Benz,  photo by Mrs.Daniela Schifano

The yearly major exhibition of Arcobonsai Club Garda Trentino takes place at the beginning of May and is well known by bonsai enthusiasts in Europe. Nevertheless, this year’s event was special because the club invited E.B.A. and E.S.A. as well as U.B.I., the national Italian bonsai association to hold their convention at the beautiful small city of Arco. Therefore one could see the most beautiful European bonsai and Suiseki at the Casino, the location of the exhibition.

Arco is located near Lake Garda and surrounded by an astonishing mountain panorama. It enjoys a mild, sometimes subtropical climate and vegetation with palm and olive trees, vineyards, fruit-trees, oleander, bougainvillea etc. No wonder that the city’s economy is based on tourism.   
Unfortunately, display space for both bonsai and Suiseki was limited. The Suiseki exhibition was restricted to 22 specimens so some Suiseki friends couldn’t participate with their stones. A few Suiseki from Italian UBI members found a place at another small exhibition room vis à vis of the ESA exhibition where they were displayed side by side with bonsai. The lighting of the ESA exhibition room was quite bad so the beauty of the exhibits couldn’t be seen in its whole extent
  Landscape, in particular mountain stones dominated as at most exhibitions in Europe. Most stones were from European origin. They came from Italy, especially from Liguria, Slovakia, Czech Republic but also some came from Japan and China.    
Awards were presented by E.S.A., U.B.I., I.B.S., A.I.A.S. and B.C.I..
The E.S.A. award was given to a “Toad” of Mr. Holger Göbel from Germany. The Gobi desert stone was displayed on a shelf together with a scroll and an azalea as accent plant.
Two E.S.A. President’s Awards went to the wonderful mountain stone “The Dark Side of the Mountain” of Mr. Claudio Villa from Italy and an outstanding mountain stone of Mr. Carlo Guardigli from Italy.
An E.S.A. Nomination was presented to Mr. Santo Buratto from Italy for his landscape stone “Like a Robin a Storm of Leaves” which was found in Italy. The second Nomination went to a plateau stone of Mrs. Martina Vyhlidalova from Slovakia.

The A.I.A.S.
President’s Awards went to the landscape stone "Autumn Colour" of Mrs. Gudrun Benz. The A.I.A.S. Plaque has been assigned for the E.S.A. to a boat  shaped stone presented by Mr. Igor Barta.

The first U.B.I. prize for suiseki was presented to the magnificent plateau stone of Mrs. Daniela Schifano from Italy which received also the BCI Award of Excellence and I.B.S. Prize. The second U.B.I. prize was given to the beautiful mountain stone in a doban of Mr. Igor Carino from Italy. The third UBI prize went to an impressive mountain stone of Mr. Claudio Villa from Italy. The A.I.A.S. Plaque has been assigned for the U.B.I. to a waterfall stone of Italian origin, presented to Mr. Riccardo Sorbino.

Italy is leading in bonsai and Suiseki in Europe. The bonsai and Suiseki exhibition were high levelled. Once more I could notice the progress that Italian bonsai and Suiseki enthusiasts made in displaying their “treasures” in the last few years. Display tables were excellently manufactured. Bonsai, pots and display tables were mostly in harmony, it means they fit harmoniously together in size, shape, colour and proportions. Therefore it was difficult to decide which bonsai or Suiseki was the best. The same was valid for accent plants or tempei. Of course, one could see also very few exceptions.
There were seen only a few shohin bonsai displays.
The trader area outside the Casino offered all kind of bonsai and Suiseki related items and was very attractive for the convention participants.   
As part of the event, there were the New Talent Contest with participants of 14 European countries, the European Arcobonsai Contest 2018 with 13 demonstrators and their helpers, the demonstration of the headliner Hotsumi Terkawa from Japan, lectures related to bonsai, Suiseki and the connection between nature and arts as well as board meetings and the annual general meetings of the participating organizations. On occasion of the social events, the gala dinner on a boat on the Garda Lake and the Evening “B & B & B – Birra – Bonsai e Baraonda” participants had a great time and enjoyed friendship and generous warm hospitality of the Italian host.
In summary, the event was a pleasant one where all had a great time with bonsai, Suiseki and friends.       
Mrs. Gudrun Benz

 E.S.A. Convention: the suiseki in display



E.S.A. AWARD for the most beautiful stone
Mr. Holger Göbel
Animal shaped stone


E.S.A. President's Award
Mr. Claudio Villa

"The dark side of the mountain"

Landscape stone


Nomination E.S.A.
Mr. Santo Buratto

"Like a robin a storm of leaves"

Landscape stone


Nomination E.S.A.
  Mrs. Martina Vyhlidalova

Plateau stone



A.I.A.S. Prize
Mr. Igor Barta
Boat shaped stone


A.I.A.S. President's Award
Mrs. Gudrun Benz
"Autumn Colour"
Distant mountain stone


Atelier Mr.Klika & Mrs.Kuraktova
Mountain stone
Yamagata ishi
Mr. Walter Schreiner
"Clouds along the mountain"
Surface pattern stone


Mr. Lorenzo Sonzini
Sugata ishi
Mrs. Luciana Queirolo
"In front of me... "
Toyama ishi


Mrs. Emma Kerper
Surface pattern stone
Mrs.Yvonne Graubæk
Near mountain stone


Mrs. Ella Gornerova
Distant mountain stone
Mrs. Sarka Cermakova
Distant mountain stone


Mr. Vladimir Kamocsai  
Mr. Lubos Vyhlidal
Island stone


Mr. Amnon Paldi
Setagawa tora ishi
Mr. Vito Di Venere
"Flying around the world"


Mr. Christoph Daim
 Waterfall stone
Mr. Christoph Daim
Human shaped stone


Mr. Cesare Fumagalli

 Sugata ishi - Human shaped stone
Mr. Marino Nikpal
Plateau stone
Landscape stone
U.B.I. Congress : the suiseki in display


U.B.I PRIZE - I.B.S. PRIZE - B.C.I. Award of Excellence
Mrs. Daniela Schifano
"Nello spazio e nel tempo"
Danseki - Japan (Kamo River)


U.B.I. Mention of Merit
Mr. Igor Carino


U.B.I. Mention of Merit
Mr. Claudio Villa
"Cime tempestose"


E.S.A. President's Award
Mr. Carlo Guardigli
"Tramonto rosso"


A.I.A.S. Prize
Mr. Riccardo Sorbino
Waterfall stone


2° Trophy Memorial "Antonella Carioli"
  Mr. Marino Nikpal


Mr. Salvatore Attardo
"The valley of the angels"
Mr. Mauro Stemberger
"Colline fiorite"


Mr. Emilio Capozza
"Nikkor il monaco"
Mr. Leonardo Ostuni
Kinzanseki - Mountain stone

Mr. Giacomo Montaguti