AH LUTFI ::: This year, one of his artificial bonsai won second place (runner-up) at the WBFF Bonsai Photo Contest. But a few weeks after it was announced as the winner, it bonsai die by the brunt of floods.
“I am really sad. I made it (Casuarina Equisetifolia raft style) since 1995, originally I was grafts from branches of straws size,” said Abdul Hakim (AH) Lutfi on BursaBonsai.com.It bonsai dead when the house of the owner –Eddy Sebayang– in Jakarta flooded this summer, and to commemorate or treating his disappointment, he kept the carcass Casuarina Equisetifolia in his bonsai store. In 2011, this Casuarina Equisetifolia raft style is ranked fourth in the event of BCI Bonsai Photo Contest.
“Now I am preparing three trees for international level competition in the coming years, two Triphasia Trifolia and one Chinese Elm,” said Lutfi.
Lutfi always looks simple, tend to be taciturn, humble and did not hesitate to share the tricks of high level bonsai techniques. He became involved in bonsai in the early 80s, start from the Banyan tree (Ficus Indica) that sticks in many other trees around his home in the city of Malang, East Java, Indonesia. Then after high school graduation, in 1989, he migrated to Jakarta and expand relationships and knowledge of bonsai in Pluit Bonsai Centers.
“I learned a lot from the books of Kimura (Masahiko). For me, he’s a great master! Not necessarily in 50 or 100 years there bonsai artist can do what he did, creating a new genre in the art of bonsai which became known as the Modern Japanese Style,” Lutfi said as he continued, yet he prefers to make ‘pure’ bonsai, tend to Modern Natural Style.
In the early 2000s, Lutfi began to climb the peak of his popularity, is under the shadow of two world-class master of Indonesia that earlier fluttered at the international level: Master Budi Sulistyo and Master Robert Steven. He had to deepen his knowledge of bonsai as far as China and Taiwan, then at least six times to go to India on his dealings with the demo and workshop bonsai. Many his artificial bonsai collected by top-class collectors in Indonesia, not a few among them seized the prestigious title in various national bonsai contest.
“Don’t forget, many bonsai are created by Master Lutfi also won a respectable position in the ASPAC level. Unfortunately he tends to restrain from publication, he was not insane popularity,” said Winarto (Bali Bonsai), a bonsai collector who settled in the city of Denpasar, Bali.
In Indonesia, Lutfi is known as a bonsai master who has excellence in programming roots, trunk and branches bend, expert in making bonsai grouping, reliable in finding and determining flow of a tree, to find the peak performance of a tree he did not hesitate overhauled a ripe bonsai and start from scratch.
“He is very strong in Japanese and Chinese style. He lead at the top of an elite group of new debutant Indonesian bonsai master. Ranked second are Prayudi Kumara, Yayat Hidayat ranked third, fourth Rojani Sumarlin,” said Willy Wihana, one of the pioneers of Indonesian bonsai who also known as the master of the genre bonsai.
Lutfi felt not as great as people described. For him bonsai are a process, requiring perseverance, foresight and a high level of expertise. What he achieved today are thanks to the patience, as well as the paradigm shift that he run in two-three years later. “My life runs out in bonsai. Nearly 25 years my family living just rely on my income as a trainer bonsai. Ups and downs, but that does not make me desperate,” he said.
Now Lutfi began to enjoy his labors. People appreciate his expertise, has in recent years Indonesian Bonsai Society (PPBI) appointed him as an expert in the research and development division for Jakarta-Bogor-Depok-Tangerang-Bekasi (Jabodetabek).
“Now he’s already deserve to go world-class master. He’s an expert in all tree all style. Rather quiet person, very patient, and friendly. His figure sketch bonsai are very smooth and amazing, he’s multitalented, ” said John Sawari (Sawari Garden), chairman of the PPBI Tangerang branch.
Besides busy enlightening about the art of bonsai, also became the main judge in various national bonsai contest, now Lutfi also started doing bonsai cultivation as one of his business. Previously he had opened the stand in the Pluit Bonsai Center, which occupies about 250 square meters, in which lay about 100 bonsai in various sizes and species.
“”My bonsai collection is not too much, about 100 trees of at least 10 species,” said Lutfi. He hoped that in the future more of bonsai in Indonesia made from cultivation, not from digging in the forest or shrubs.