A Legendary Bonsai Master and Her Museum

Internationally renowned bonsai master Professor Amy Liang speaking at the opening ceremony of her Bonsai Museum and the launch ceremony of her memoir in Taipei on November 3, 2017. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)
Internationally renowned bonsai master Professor Amy Liang speaking at the opening ceremony of her Bonsai Museum and the launch ceremony of her memoir in Taipei on November 3, 2017. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Never before has a woman been so dedicated to bonsai art as Amy Liang (梁悅美). A native Taiwanese, she was born into a respected family in northern Taiwan and married a prominent gynecologist/obstetrician before becoming an internationally renowned bonsai master.

Please watch the video about legendary bonsai master Amy Liang and her museum:

As noted in the preface to her recently published memoir entitled The Revelations of Bonsai: 50-Year Milestone of Amy Liang and Her Bonsai Journey (世紀之約–盆栽五十年), she described herself as unique because very few women are so dedicated to horticulture, a field that normally requires heavy outdoor labor.

One of Professor Amy Liang's bonsai trees (Image: Courtesy of Jenny Zhang)

One of Professor Amy Liang’s bonsai trees. (Image: Courtesy of Jenny Zhang)

Given her family background and her marriage to a respected medical doctor, many might take her claim to fame in the international bonsai circles for granted. Nonetheless, it proved to be a journey of hardships that many would regard as insurmountable.

One of Professor Amy Liang's bonsai trees (Image: Courtesy of Jenny Zhang)

One of Professor Amy Liang’s colorful bonsai trees. (Image: Courtesy of Jenny Zhang)

Born into a respected family, Amy Liang is not only lovely and elegant, but also very talented. However, she suffered from clinical depression a few years after getting married. Although her husband attempted to help her during these difficult years, it was of no avail. She eventually recovered from her depression after her father introduced her to the art of bonsai cultivation.

One of the bonsai trees in Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

One of the corners in the Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

After going through her tribulation, Amy Liang has dedicated most of her time and energy to the cultivation and promotion of bonsai art over the past five decades, which won her the reputation as a highly respected bonsai master. Due to her tremendous contribution to the international bonsai community and her compassion to other people and her art, she is highly revered by people in bonsai circles at home and abroad.

The garden of Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan (Image: Courtesy of Zhang Ruiyan)

The garden of the Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Courtesy of Zhang Ruiyan)

Amy Liang has written a total of 11 bonsai-related books. Among them, The Living Art of Bonsai: Principles & Techniques of Cultivation & Propagation was selected as one of the top 10 best books of the year in the United States in 1991, and has been used as a bonsai textbook in over 20 countries. Another book, entitled the Art of Bonsai, won her the Golden Tripod Award for Publications (金鼎獎) in two different categories in 1990, which is the highest honor that can be awarded in the Taiwanese publishing industry.

A corner of Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A corner of the Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

As ex-president of the National Bonsai Association of Taiwan (NBAT臺灣盆栽總會前總會長) and Asia-Pacific Friendship Federation (ABFF亞太盆栽聯盟前會長), not only did Amy teach at universities in Taiwan, but she was also a professor at Seattle Pacific University and the South Seattle Community College in the United States (1987-1989).

A Chinese traditional pavilion at Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A Chinese traditional pavilion at the Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

In 1988, she was invited to give lectures at the U.S. Puget Sound Bonsai Association, the American University Bonsai Association, and the Mei Hwa Bonsai Association. Moreover, she was the first Taiwanese invited to give lecturers and conduct bonsai demonstration at the U.S. National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in 1988. Over the years, she has given lectures in over 20 other countries across the globe.

The garden of Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei (Image: Courtesy of Jenny Zhang)

A garden view of the Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei. (Image: Courtesy of Jenny Zhang)

Being honored with the World Bonsai Contribution Award by the World Bonsai Friendship Federation (WBFF世界盆栽聯盟), Amy was appointed International Consultant to the WBFF, and received the Lifetime Contribution Award for Bonsai Cultural Exchange between the Two Sides of the Taiwan Straits (海峽兩岸終身貢獻獎) in 1995.

A Chinese temple-style structure bearing the characters of 極天地大觀 (Gather the grand sights of heaven and earth) at Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A Chinese temple-style structure bearing the characters 極天地大觀, which translate into ‘gather the grand sights of Heaven and Earth’ at the Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

In 1984, she was invited to host a TV show called Taiwan’s Art of Bonsai for the Taiwan Public Television Service (公共電視) for two years, which gave rise to an upsurge of interest in bonsai art in Taiwan.

A corner of Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei (Image: Courtesy of Wang Chung-Yue)

A corner of Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei. (Image: Courtesy of Wang Chung-Yue)

As one of eight first-generation bonsai masters in China, Amy Liang has conducted bonsai training sessions to over 6,000 students in China since 1991. She was appointed as Honorary President of the Chinese Penjing Artists Association, and won the honorary title of Bonsai Art Master of China (中國盆栽藝術大師) in 1995.

A collection of stones displayed at Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A collection of stones displayed at the Amy Liang Bonsai Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Located in the suburbs of Taipei City, Amy Liang’s residence is surrounded by a spectacular bonsai garden, also known as the Purple Bonsai Garden (紫園), covering 2.2 acres (8,925 square meters), where her personal collection of about 500 bonsai trees in some 100 species are on display. Among them, five were selected for Taiwan postage stamp images, and one for a U.S. postage stamp image.

Attended by 380 guests from 26 countries, the opening ceremony of Amy Liang Bonsai Museum was held along with the launch ceremony of her memoir on November 3, 2017, in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Courtesy of Jenny Zhang)

Attended by 380 guests from 26 countries, the opening ceremony of theAmy Liang Bonsai Museum was held along with the launch ceremony of her memoir on November 3, 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Courtesy of Jenny Zhang)

To further promote bonsai art and to allow more people to appreciate the beauty of bonsai, Amy has turned her invaluable bonsai garden into a museum called the Amy Liang Bonsai Museum (梁悅美盆栽文物藝術館). Attended by 380 guests from 26 countries, the opening ceremony of the museum was held along with the launch ceremony of her memoir, “The Revelations of Bonsai: 50-Year Milestone of Amy Liang and Her Bonsai Journey” on November 3, 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The launch ceremony of Professor Amy Liang's new book, “The Revelations of Bonsai— 50-Year Milestone of Amy Liang and Her Bonsai Journey (世紀之約--盆栽五十年)” was held on November 3, 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

The launch ceremony of Professor Amy Liang’s new book, ‘The Revelations of Bonsai: 50-Year Milestone of Amy Liang and Her Bonsai Journey (世紀之約–盆栽五十年)’ was held on November 3, 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

In her memoir, in addition to recording her life from childhood to adulthood, her career, and how her interest in bonsai supported her during difficult times, she also shared her valuable experiences while dedicating herself to the art of bonsai over the past half century.

Professor Amy Liang is a treasure of bonsai art in Taiwan and across the world.

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