Photographer Vitor Schietti highlights the beauty of bonsai trees in his ongoing series Impermanent Sculptures. Featuring explosions of bright yellow light against a pitch-black background, these long-exposure portraits imbue familiar subjects with a sense of magic. The sparklers dance along the branches and leaves, illuminating the shape of each tree.
In the series of photographs, Schietti captures an array of unique bonsai trees with this method. The light painting is made over one single exposure or, in some cases, through overlaying several images. “Trees are such majestic beings. It is not by accident that many cultures have the concept of a tree playing central roles in their creation myths,” Scheitti tells My Modern Met. “We acknowledge in this ancient form of life, the pioneers of the first cells to breathe sunlight. Trees absorb light so they can inspire us back with their resilience, playfulness, and elegance.”
By using light in conjunction with the bonsai tree, Schietti attempts to emphasize the ephemerality of photographs while also celebrating the enduring power of nature. Even though bonsai trees are famously miniature, they are magnified in these intimate portrayals. “The small scale representation of their grown natural counterparts allow my strokes of sparkles to reach further through the trees' shape, thus revealing something like its soul, the source of life, the pulsating energy that emanates through the universe,” he continues.