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Andrea Meriggioli was born in Trieste (Italy) on December 18, 1989. Since he was a child, also stimulated by his maternal grandfather’s passion, he developed a strong love of nature, which would lead to his natural approach to bonsai art. Andrea was fascinated by those plants, that gave him strong emotions and feelings.
On his own, he made his way in the world of bonsai learning from books and from the experience he had acquired. In 2005, he started attending an Italian bonsai school, also beginning to take part in numerous workshops and seminars in Italy.
From then on, he would always be led by his search for improvement, which would lead him to meet the most important personalities in the bonsai world, attending exhibitions and events all over Italy.
In 2009, having acquired the right knowledge basis, he felt ready to start a personal activity, through which he would immediately start active collaborations, with articles about bonsai sent to various specialised magazines, also contributing to the publication of a few books.
In the same year he inaugurated his online activity, linked to his own nursery, through which he sells products and bonsai imported from Japan, alongside native trees (yamadori). The website also offers trees he has worked on personally, which are therefore granted to be professionaly grown and high quality. A specific forum accompanies the website, followed by many bonsai lovers.
In the year 2009 he consistently carried on his work, aimed at founding his own bonsai art workshop, and beginning to gather around him a number of new students, trusting him and appreciating his teaching – also thanks to the forum, constantly improved and developed in an effort to divulge the art of bonsai in the best possible way.
Furthermore, he went on learning and deepening his interest in cultivation practices, mastering multiple techniques; at the same time, he started specialising in the cultivation of maples, his favourite species of all – though not despising other species, and being rather keen on conifers, like pines and junipers.
In 2010 he started exhibiting his trees at the national exhibition; in the meantime, his workshop grew further, both as to the number of attendants and with regard to the results, so he decided to found his own bonsai club.
He started taking part in various events he was invited to, to exhibit his plants and style trees, establishing contacts with other nations and organising several workshops. At the end of 2010, a high number of people attended his workshop, and his career was more and more on the rise.
It was in that period that he also started working with clients and students from abroad, periodically organising European-level workshops and seminars. He started establishing a number of collaborations with bonsai experts from other nations, which led to the beginning of some very good friendships. With the passing of time, he found more and more interest abroad, where he was greatly appreciated and found a constantly growing demand for his expertise.
In 2013 he set off on his first work and study trip to Japan. He was inspired by a strong wish to feel the spirit of true bonsai, and how these trees are seen and grown in the place where this art originated and found its highest form. That experience changed him radically and decisively, as he had the possibility to live in direct contact with his master, Mr. Nobuichi Urushibata (漆畑信市) After assimilating a lot of the Japanese style and philosophy pertaining to bonsai and to life itself, he decided to publish a book, "The seasons of life ” (The Seasons of Life, Bioguida Edizioni), a presentation of a life based on ideals and principles to identify with.
In the course of his Japanese experience, he established a relationship based on profound, reciprocal esteem and respect with his Oyakata (親方).
During his stay there, he had the great honour of receiving the future name of his own bonsai nursery from his master: Hiryū-En (飛龍園), which means “Garden of the Flying Dragon” in Japanese, meant as the dragon flying higher and higher up in the sky, in pursuit of constant improvement. Andrea followed his path over the following years, being able to say that he feels linked in some way to the lineage of his Japanese master, who formed and completed him as a bonsai artist, passing on to him the meaning of true bonsai.
After that experience in Japan, he would return periodically, more times a year, uniting the work he started in Europe with his Japanese work. Thanks to his travels, he has had the possibility of refining his techniques – with growing interest for maples – visiting the gardens of various masters, and, most of all, being able to discuss and share opinions with them; after his first Japanese experience, as a matter of fact, he started learning the fascinating language of that nation with perseverance and dedication, learning to speak, but above all, to read and write – his interests particularly focusing on bonsai, of course.
During his regular trips to Japan, he imports bonsai and araki coming from the gardens of the most renowned bonsai masters, as well as specialised tools and sundries, offering his European clients and students a vast range of high-quality bonsai, pots and tools, all featured in the online shop of his nursery (www.hiryuen.com).
In November 2015 he was appointed national bonsai instructor for UBI (Unione Bonsaisti Italiani), in acknowledgement of his long-standing work and of the level he acquired over the years.
Andrea is constantly searching for new inspiration and challenges; he works towards the objectives he means to achieve, always aiming at improving and learning. By now, bonsai is an integral component of his lifestyle, engaging his mind and filling his days, because the sense of one’s existence can really be perceived along the course of the fascinating bonsai-dō (盆栽道).