Bonsai is a popular Japan's tradition of growing and nurturing decorative trees. Due to external circumstances and others will, the plants are transferred to a strange, artificial space. This way the tree is doomed to suffer ruthless challenges in an attempt to change its nature, not allowing to grow and unfold.
Nations, just like trees, have their own times of forming, flourishing and vanishing. In history, we can find many examples when nations had grown to becoming civilisations and later on vanished or were destroyed. Many nations became bonsai.
In 2018 three Baltic countries – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, commemorate the 100th anniversary of their restoration. These are moving stories, which have similarities and differences. Whilom, Lithuania was like a gracious tree, but historical circumstances determined compulsory changes, drastic chopping, pruning, breaking. History of our nation is similar to the fate of bonsai tree: diminished, put into a small bowl, being “supervised”, “protected” and “formed” by external forces.
Installation “Baltic bonsai” is created from Baltic Sea stones, found in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, incrusted with various signs made of silver. Stories and marks made by the time itself are imprinted in these stones like ridges of a tree. What destiny Lithuania could have had if the decisions of the external forces would have been different? How much of it depends on us? Can bonsai become a tree again? On the other hand, maybe every one of us is bonsai?