Walter is the most knowledgeable English-speaking person committed to a form of Chinese penjing. He comes from an aristocratic family, was born in China, and educated in Taiwan in the Chinese liberal arts tradition.  In his early days, he personally handled the art treasures of China that ended up in Taiwan after the People's Republic of China was formed in 1949.  He knows Chinese history, philosophy and artistic values.  Without this knowledge,  it is impossible to understand the depth and spirit of Chinese penjing. I consider him my equal, but more important, a good and honest friend.

Liew3Cascade&Exhibit.jpg (23453 bytes)
is being constructed in Waimanalo on 20 acres on the windward side island of Oahu in the shadow of the dramatic Koolau Mountains.  It's up against the forest reserve in a serene inspiring beautiful setting.  The garden is open only by appointment and by admission fee.   
         Mailing address:  41-909 Mahailua Street, Waimanalo, Hawaii 96795;  Phone (808) 373-9296 or (808) 259-6886; FAX (808) 394-5551
Liew1Walter.jpg (27008 bytes)           Meet Walter Liew, an irrepressible fellow who loves to train trees and to teach and share his knowledge. He is developing an exciting new unique style of penjing that I've suggested he name "Flying Dragon" style.  The style has a lot of movement (like a dragon) and utilizes extensive wiring.  Walter's collection has been developed over many years and he is one of the very few trainers that has the personal pride and courage to develop his own style.
Liew2Walter+Exhibit.jpg (27900 bytes)           The garden enclosure allows Walter to display some of his older trees.  It's a large ambitious project and a real treat to be given Walter's golf cart tour throughout the entire property to preview a dream in progress! That's Mount Olomana in the background, the dramatic focal point of Windward Oahu. In the foreground is an exposed root Chinese Box Orange.
Liew4Pots1.jpg (30821 bytes)          In the foreground are large high-grade handmade Yixing pots.  These are made in the same place as the most prized antique pots that the Japanese originally utilized and later copied. During the recent International Bonsai Convention 2000 Hawaii, a large number of pots were purchased and shipped including to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington D.C. Walter has a lot of contacts in China and is a major importer of Chinese pottery, plants, and other items. 
Liew5Pots2.jpg (30322 bytes)           Pottery from other parts of China are glazed and some large cache pots are used in hotels throughout Hawaii.  They are also popular as fish ponds and Walter also imports water lilies, lotus, and other water plants.   Unfortunately for Mainland customers, the costs of packing and freight is a major expense. But this may be one of a very few places that have such pots in the United States.
Liew6Nursery.jpg (34493 bytes)           The nursery includes imported Chinese penjing and items Walter propagated and trained.  He is not yet certified for shipping with media to the United States but has begun the process.  Except for California, he is able to ship bare-rooted plants to the Mainland.  Their prices are very reasonable and Hawaii is very fortunate to have him. 
                Walter and Ann Liew are "retired" from their Chinese Antique Store business, but are working harder than ever at what they love.  Their living art cultural center will also share their collection of Chinese artifacts and furniture.  For a unique insight into Chinese culture and the penjing art,  visitors to Hawaii should visit the Liew's Hawaii Bonsai Culture Center. 
                ~~~David W. Fukumoto (July 2001)

***   Continue to "DRAGON GARDEN II"  (April 2002)

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