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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 lectures and conduct bonsai demonstrations 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.