Penjing Courses, Workshops and Events

Offered by Penjing Institute of Australia in collaboration with Bonsai Environment

  • Unlock the mystery of the art of Penjing
  • Start the journey with experienced Penjing instructors
  • Gain new skills and techniques to apply to your very own Penjing
  • Come join us today and receive further benefits!

Penjing and Bonsai

Penjing is an ancient Chinese art form that recreates the beauty of nature with a creative and natural freedom through miniature trees and landscapes. It forms a subjective expression and a strong individual emotional connection to the natural world. Similar art forms exist in other cultures, such as the Japanese art form of Bonsai, which is derived from the ancient Chinese art form of Penjing known as ‘Tree Penjing (Shumu Penjing)’.

Penjing, “inspired by nature, admired as superior to nature” includes a number of categories such as:

• Tree Penjing (Shumu Penjing)

• Mountain and Water (Shanshui Penjing)

• Water and Land (Shuihan Penjing)

• Wall-Hanging (Bigua Penjing)

• Scholar’s rocks (Yashi Penjing)

Your Teachers – Kingston Wang and Allan Harding

Penjing Institute of Australia cofounded by Kingston Wang and Allan Harding invites you to take a journey into the ancient art form of Chinese Penjing.

As part of Chinese tradition, Kingston started to practice the art of Chinese brush painting, calligraphy and FengShui since his early childhood. He graduated from Beijing International Studies University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984. After graduating, Kingston was fortunate enough to meet some of the most distinguished Penjing masters in China, of whom he obtained a number of traditional Chinese Penjing skills and techniques due to the nature of his work. After coming to Australia, he continued practicing penjing and bonsai as a hobby. In order to broaden his knowledge, he spent two years studying Horticulture in TAFE, Ryde. Since then he has been growing, styling and promoting penjing and bonsai as a full time job through his business – Bonsai Environment.

Bonsai Environment was contracted by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to advise, maintain and service the Penjing collection at the Chinese Garden since 2011.

Allan Harding has studied the Japanese art form of Bonsai for the past 15 years. As his interest focused more on Penjing, he enrolled in a full-time penjing course for three years reaching advanced level. His studies included a tour to China in 2014 and a return trip in 2015, as well as some research and professional development into the art of Penjing. Allan serves an advisory role in the selection for the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection at the National Arboretum in Canberra, where some of his Penjing are being exhibited. He is by now, also a member of the Australian National Bonsai Association and has taught bonsai and penjing classes at community colleges and demonstrated penjing techniques to local bonsai clubs. In 2015, he won first prize at the inaugural Penjing Competition at the Chinese Garden in Darling Harbour, of which he entered a number of his penjing collections.

1. Why should I study Penjing?

Penjing is not just a hobby; it is a lifestyle. You’re not only learning about penjing but also the philosophy behind it and where it originates. Even if you are an experienced bonsai enthusiast, you can enhance your bonsai knowledge by broadening it to penjing that encompasses bonsai and many other styles.

2. What will I benefit by taking this course?

After completing the course you will have a broad knowledge of what penjing is all about and have the skills and techniques that can be applied to making your very own penjing! We value our students that have an interest in penjing. So, in collaboration with Bonsai Environment, we offer all students 10% off all in-store purchases during the course time and further discounts on workshops and events.

3. Are there any requirements for taking this course?

You do not need any prior knowledge about bonsai or penjing as we structure our courses so that you start from the very beginning without any gaps in your knowledge. For your own convenience, please bring a pen, a notepad or computer/tablet to take notes whilst in your courses, workshops and events.

4. What are the differences among courses, workshops and events?

Courses are designed to provide students with an in-depth knowledge on the skills and techniques as well as live demonstrations, so you can apply them to your very own penjing!

Workshops are all about applying the theory you learnt in the courses into practice. Therefore you will have the opportunity for hands-on learning with our experienced instructors guiding your way.

Events are all about showcasing Penjing! Exhibitions and competitions allow you to display the skills you have acquired in Penjing while inspiring all of us to further improve. Penjing demonstrations by Penjing Masters and Study Tours to China will ensure that you continue to learn from the best teachers and be inspired by the best Penjing.

5. Are there any other venues other then Bonsai Environment?

Not at the moment, however there will be in the near future. Please check this site from time to time for more updates.

6. Do I need to have or purchase any special tools or equipment to do Penjing?

It is not necessary to purchase additional equipment, however for the more advanced skills and techniques you may need some specialised equipment, which we will provide details of where you can purchase from.