Dear bonsai friends,

Bonsai Association Belgium invites you to the ‘Trophy 2020’. We start a new decade in international bonsai exhibitions. We stick to our philosophy of bringing every facet of the art of bonsai to the visitors in an atmosphere of international friendship. The date is moved to the end of February to give visitors and participants of the Kokufu exhibition in Japan the chance to be back in Europe again.

Are you a professional, an experienced enthousiast, or is bonsai just new for you ? All of you are welcome. Join your international bonsai friends to show and enjoy the best bonsai from our European bonsai collections.  Registration is free and open to everybody.

Remembering  the magnificent special exhibition of Luis Vallejo’s trees in 2019, we wil now present you a selection of Italian trees put together by Salvatore Liporace. Italian bonsai masters have also outstanding bonsai which have reached full maturity. They will be exhibited ‘out of competition’. Click here to read more

Program Trophy 2020

Saturday – February 29, 2020


Entrance open to the international commercial space


Official opening of exhibition area (bonsai, suiseki, bonsai pots)

Exhibition of mature trees of Italian bonsai masters, selected and composed by Salvatore Liporace

Large shohin composition ‘out of competition’ by Alexandre Escudero and the group Kazuko

13.00 – 17.00 


  Minoru AKIYAMA (JP)

  Ryan NEIL  (USA)


  Tony Tickle (UK)

Translator : Peter Warren, Moderator : Marc De Beule (BE)


Closing Doors


Dinner with prize giving ceremony (online reservation needed)

Sunday – March 1, 2020


Entrance open to the international commercial space


Opening of the exhibition area (bonsai, suiseki, bonsai pots)

Exhibition of mature trees of Italian bonsai masters, selected and composed by Salvatore Liporace

Large shohin composition ‘out of competition’ by Alexandre Escudero and the group Kazuko

 10.00 – 11.30

Lecture on shohin by Luigi MAGGIONE translated to English by Guido Pozzoli

13.00 – 17.00


  Minoru AKIYAMA (JP)

  Ryan NEIL  (USA)


  Tony Tickle (UK)

Translator : Peter Warren, Moderator : Marc De Beule (BE)


End of the Trophy 2020

Gold Sponsors




Minoru AKIYAMA grew up in the Akiyama Bonsai-en nursery of his father. After high school he completed 6 years apprenticeship at the Shunkaen Bonsai Museum of master Kunio Kobayashi.

Before his age of 30 he had already received the highest bonsai awards (Prime Ministers award at the Kokufu, and the Taisho award at the Kojuten exhibition).

Minoru AKIYAMA is working on a broad variety of bonsai. Not only conifers and deciduous trees, but he has also big expertise in Satsuki and shohin.

Apart from his work in his own nursery, he gives lessons to new students, and he is an active speaker and demonstrator on Japanese and international bonsai meetings.



Ryan NEIL was born near the wild nature of the Rocky Mountains.

After six years of intensive study with Mr. Masahiko Kimura, he returned to Portland, Oregon, where he founded ‘Bonsai Mirai’.  As a bonsai professional and a visual artist, he brings bonsai to a level of fine art.  According to Ryan, the art of bonsai reflects the relationship between nature, culture and individual human beings. He shares his knowledge to achieve this to local bonsai enthusiasts and worldwide by his demonstrations, workshops and on line.

He was the initiator of The Artisans Cup in Portland, a major successful bonsai exhibition which set very high standards to American bonsai.

His bonsai compositions express the vast array of landscapes that people can recognize. It inspires a lot of us to proceed in this form of art. By following the live streams of Mirai Live we are now able to learn from him immediately all over the world.



Mauro STEMBERGER was fascinated by bonsai from the age of 14. He joined the local bonsai club in Feltre, his birthplace. During his studies of architecture he followed a lot of courses and workshop by international bonsai masters. He graduated as architect in 2006 and started working in his own town.

He founded the Italian Bonsai Dream school , and he has written several articles in international journals.

From 2008 he is a recognized BCI bonsai instructor. He was president of the UBI from 2008 till 2010.

Currently, Mauro is giving demonstrations and workshops for a lot of organisations all over the world.  His creations can often be seen on social media.



Tony TICKLE has been working with bonsai since 1983 and was trained under the stewardship of master Takeo Kawabe.

He has demonstrated at several major conferences across the world. His trees have won major prizes as the Ginkgo Award in 1997, and the Best Deciduous Bonsai at the Noelanders Trophy 2017.

On several occasions he has promoted bonsai as an art form in its own right. He has experimented with new presentations, in unusual locations, but always with the intention to bring bonsai as an art as close to the public as possible.  His preference for native European trees helps the general public to see the art of bonsai as natural in stead of artificial.  

As a demonstrator he is also appreciated for his entertaining style, which we all will enjoy.

Alexandre Escudero (FR)

Alexandre Escudero (FR)

Alexandre Escudero is into bonsai since 20 years. In 2014 he was seduced by the beauty of shohin and kifu during his first trip to Japan.  Every year thereafter he and the group Kazoku have invited bonsai master Hiroyuki Tanibata (Syouka-en bonsai garden) to France for a workshop on shohin.

During ‘The Trophy 2020’ himself and the group Kazoku will present ten new presentations of shohin, kifu and chuhin bonsai.

Luigi Maggioni (IT)

Luigi Maggioni (IT)

Luigi Maggioni studied bonsai since 1992. He followed courses with Salvatore Liporace, Hideo Suzuki and several other bonsai masters. He received the diploma of ‘Istruttore’ at the Japanese Hamano School. He has organised the first European Shohin exhibition in 2013, and his tree won a lot of prizes in different international exhibitions (Ben Oki 2000, UBI 2003, Shohin Crespi Cup etc …)

Luigi confessed that bonsai has changed his world, as this form of art brought him serenity and keeps his mind young.



Registration is free and open for every bonsai amateur and professional in Europe.


Sorry, Registration for Trophy 2020 has ended.





Ticket Type Price
Full weekend Ticket (All-in)
Visit one day (no demo) €19
Visit one day with demo €29
Saturday Dinner Ticket Online Only

 Parking at the Limburghal is free! If you park in the nearby streets make sure to follow the local regulations.




The Trophy 2020 will be held in the Limburghal in Genk where we have the disposal of the complete venue floor. This will cover a 4000M² competition floor and a 4000M² traders and professionals area. Demo’s will be held in the Auditorium and can seat up to 650 guests

Jaarbeurslaan 6,

3600 GENK


Free Parking

The Limburghal has a very large parking space for about 600 cars.

Be aware: Don’t forget to place you European parkingcard behind your front windscreen if you park on the Jaarbeurslaan!



Do you have a question, send us a mail:
  • Questions regarding the Trophy?

Luc Nagels –

  • Something unclear about your tree registration?

Roald Vlems –

  • Any technical issues?

David Wuyts –


Practical information ‘The Trophy 2024’

Do you want to exhibit your bonsai ?

Participation is free of charge and open to everybody.

Accepted exhibitors receive a free ticket ‘full weekend, including demo’s’.

Bonsai can be registered in 3 categories : bonsai, kifu (21-35cm) and shohin (<21cm).  Maximum 3 compositions are allowed in each category per participant.

In 2024 we have special attention for the Yose-Ue style. We reserve an award for an exceptional bonsai forest.

Registration of bonsai is only online :

Registration is open from Octobre 1, 2023 till December 31, 2023.

Selection for participation in the categories bonsai and kifu is done by Danny Use and the committee and is based on the picture you send to us. For deciduous trees, we ask a picture without leaves on the tree.

Selection of participating Shohin is done by Maarten Van der Hoeven. He will also do the positioning of the different Shohin compositions at the exhibition.

Confirmation of the first selection : email by half December 2023

Confirmation of the second selection : email by half January 2024

Do you want to exhibit a special pot ?

We will present an exhibition of high quality European bonsai pots.  Registration of a pot is online :

Extra information, contact Alex Rudd from the EBPC :

You want to exhibit a suiseki ?

Contact Holger Göbel :

Do you want to visit the exhibition and the commercial area, and follow the demonstrations ?

Buy your tickets online and save time at the entrance

Visit one day (no demo) : 20 € online, 25 € at the entrance

Visit one day with demo : 30 € online, 35 € at the entrance

Weekend all-in : 45 € online, 50 € at the entrance

Grouptickets (10 or more people), only after reservation at

You want to join the gala dinner with prize giving ceremony on Saturday evening ?

Buy your tickets online . Price : 65 €

Support of Danny Use.

Danny supports The Trophy 2024 as artistic advisor. We are very grateful for his professional help. He will do the final selection of the trees, together with some members of the committee. And very important, he will do the positioning of the trees at the exhibition. All practical work stays with the members of Bonsai Association Belgium.

Judging, points and prizes.

In every contest (not only bonsai) there are from time to time questions about the prizes.  Bonsai Association Belgium has always asked the present demonstrators to do the judging. They receive a paper with the different categories and get one hour to find a consensus for the nominated and winning trees. Sometimes this is very clear, sometimes this takes some discussion. During that process it is evident that the wisdom of an older bonsai master is of more importance than the view of a younger demonstrator.
At the moment of judging, the bonsai are labelled with the name of the owner, and the country of origin, but we are convinced that all judging demonstrators have enough professionalism to look over this.
Bonsai Association Belgium has no influence in this judging process, and receives the final places from the jury.

Photography policy

On Saturday: photography is allowed, except in the exhibition hall.

On Sunday: photography is allowed everywhere. But please make sure you don't disturb other visitors.