Super Jury

Francesco Forno

I began to approach bonsai art in the early 2000s. However, my personal and professional journey begins with the study of bonsai at Bonsai Time, a nationally recognized school in Italy. Since 2013, every year I have undertaken study trips to Japan with monthly experiences in different gardens such as that of Master Akiyama and Master Kobayashi. Furthermore, with the help of Master Masumi and Master Koji Hiramatsu, I was able to deepen the study of shohin, which then became my specialization in the art of bonsai. In 2015 I became a recognized IBS instructor and in 2021 a recognized instructor of the All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association. Also since 2015, I have been managing the Jikan-en bonsai Laboratory, a bonsai school, with my friend and colleague Fabrizio Zorzi.

Bjorn L Bjorholm

Owner of Eisei-en, is a bonsai professional and instructor who spent six years as an apprentice under Master Keiichi Fujikawa at Kouka-en bonsai nursery in Osaka, Japan, before receiving certification as a bonsai professional by the Nippon Bonsai Association. His tenure as an apprentice at Kouka-en was followed by three years as artist-in-residence at the same location, making him the first foreign-born working bonsai professional in Japan. During his time in Japan, Bjorn’s works were featured in the Kokufu-ten, Sakufu-ten, and Taikan-ten exhibitions, among many others.


In addition to his work in Japan, Bjorn travels the world, from Europe to Asia to Latin America, teaching bonsai art and providing services to private clients and international organizations. He operates intensive bonsai schools with affiliate nurseries in Spain and the United States, while also working with international bonsai organizations.

Fabrizio Zorzi

I started loving bonsai towards the end of the 90s. Later in 2008 I enrolled in a nationally recognized school in Italy (Bonsai Time) reaching the goal of UBI national instructor in 2015. In the same year I started teaching bonsai at the Jikan-en bonsai Laboratory with my friend Francesco Forno. Together we have achieved important goals such as three prizes at the UBI national exhibition as best bonsai and the prize in the Shohin category at the Trophy as well as four Excellence Awards in the Gafu Ten photography competition. Every year since 2013 I have undertaken study trips to Japan to perfect my skills and my knowledge in the field of bonsai.

Alessandro Bonardo

I’ve started studying bonsai in Italy at age 12. Climbing mountains I was amazed by the shape of the old conifers and their strength and I’ve found the same taste in bonsai. My life changed when I met my first master Massimo Bandera. He believed in my passion and accepted to prepare me for the experience in Japan. My target was to learn from the best. When I was 18, I started my apprenticeship in Masahiko Kimura’s garden. In 2022 I’ve received the diploma of Nippon Bonsai Kumiai, the first diploma signed by master Kimura for an European. Now I live in Japan and my target is to spread the culture and the knowledge of the Japanese bonsai.

David Ruiz

I started bonsai when I was 14 years old. Over the years I did many workshops with international teachers such as Marco Invernizzi, Mario Komsta and Imai Chiharu. In 2007 I won the “New Talent” contest in Barcelona and started my first Bonsai School. Since 2014 I usually go to Japan to learn bonsai. Finally, in 2019 I went to Mr. Hiramatsu Shunsho-en’s garden to improve my bonsai skills. In 2018 I became a bonsai instructor for the Spanish ABE association, and was invited as a judge or demonstrator in some of the best Competitions in Spain. In 2022 I moved to a new, larger garden, “KouSho-en Bonsai Garden”, name given by my master when I was studying in Japan. Since 2022 I hold the certificate of “Bonsai instructor approved by AJSBA”, the All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association.


Angelo Ferlita at age 16 met his teacher Salvatore Liporace. During his journey at the Studio Botanico of his teacher he had the occasion to work on many different masterpieces and to collaborate with other students of the school. Most recently, Angelo got a degree in Scienze Forestali ed Ambientali on March 16, 2023. On two occasions, from 2017 to 2018, he worked with teacher Naoki Maeoka improving his theory, especially his eye on styling and on the finishing touch. Since 2017, he permanently collaborates with the bonsai nursery “ L’Ulivo” owned by Francesco Giammona, a great master for his formation. He has visited many major European exhibitions to increase his knowledge. Nowadays, Angelo helps and follows bonsai lovers of his area. Since 2020 he owns an online bonsai business, at . In 2021 he was appointed bonsai instructor by the Bonsai Clubs International (BCI).