Difference between Landscape Penjing and Water-and-Land Penjing

Aug 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Style

Earlier, I had a few friends asking me about the difference between landscape penjing (shanshui Penjing, 山水盆景 in Chinese), and water-and-land penjing (shuihan penjing, 水旱盆景 in Chinese). It seemed that they were quite confused. Same here indeed, when I first learned bonsai, I always got mixed up between landscape penjing and water-and-land penjing too. Somehow, to me this bonsai beginner, they just sounded so similar, and looked alike… Well, after learning and seeing more of the different types of bonsai, now I can tell the difference between these two types of bonsai of course.

Here, I would like to show a few photos of landscape penjing and water-and-land penjing. Hopefully, this will be helpful to other bonsai beginners who may get all confused with landscape penjing and water-and-land penjing like how I was before.

Water-and-Land Penjing (Shuihan Penjing, 水旱盆景)

Land-and-water penjing uses trees, rocks and water to create a complex scene that not only looks beautiful, but also tells a story. Like landscape penjing, trees may or may not appear; if they are included, they play a minor role in the overall composition.

Water-and-land Penjing

Water-and-land Penjing

Water-and-land Penjing

All three water-and-land penjing are by penjing master – Zhao Qing Quan

Landscape Penjing (Shanshui Penjing, 山水盆景)

Like water-and-land penjing, landscape penjing may use water when depicting the scene. Yet, in landscape penjing, it is often the rock rather than the tree is the central focus of the scene. In addition, landscape penjing always depicts mountain scene.

Landscape Bonsai

Landscape penjing by Lingnan penjing master – Wong Chiu Shing

Sometimes, I find that the line between landscape penjing and water-and-land penjing can be quite blurred. A penjing may look like a typical water-and-land penjing while has some strong characteristics of a landscape penjing.  In my opinion, while we should understand the terminologies, it is not necessary to separate and classify everything clearly.  Bonsai is an art and art has no clear-cut boundaries 🙂

One Comment to “Difference between Landscape Penjing and Water-and-Land Penjing”

  1. John says:

    interesting. i didn’t know that either

    Keep writing Sandy


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