Mirai in the Wild: Crater Lake

Episode 1 

Mirai in the Wild is an original series that follows artist and bonsai professional Ryan Neil as he journeys to the native landscapes of endangered, ancient and significant trees. Embedded in the environment, he processes and understands the elements in the way that the tree does– interpreting and expressing the aesthetic of nature through the art of bonsai. 


Ancient monumental Whitebark pines line the rim of the great basin known as Crater Lake. An imperfect circle outlined by jagged cliff sides marks the presence of what was a volcano nested within a volcano– now filled with serene sapphire water and the deepest lake in the USA.

The underlying stories of circular wind, exposure, and strife are revealed by trees, the ultimate communicators of the environment. As relics of a time before us, the Whitebark pines beckon an understanding of preservation and our role within the natural world.

With a yamadori limber pine, spools of copper wire, and an array of tools in hand, Neil takes the styling of a tree into the environment. The sensations of smell, textures of the earth, blasting winds, and glaring sun completely influence the styling experience. The immersion of the artist into the place of inspiration awakens profound revelations; humans and trees become equal organisms in the vast grandeur of Crater Lake. 

The Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation plays a key role in supporting the preservation of these ancient communicators. To find out more about their work, visit their website at whitebarkfound.org.


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