Mr. Y.W.Junardy was appointed as the first President and Mr. Robert Steven as the Secretary General of ABFF. In recognition of his significant role in the promoting and setting up of ABFF, the late Mr. Ismail Saleh was also appointed President Emeritus of ABFF (Mr. Ismail Saleh died in 2008). The establishment of ABFF was recognized by WBFF and accepted as the member region of WBFF in the WBFF Board of Directors’ meeting in Tokyo on February 8, 2004.
The following describes some key activities of ABFF since its establishment:
The ABFF Convention and the New President's appointment.
According to the ABFF By-Laws, the term of the President is 2 years. At the end of the term, it is expected the country where President resides to conduct the “ABFF Bonsai Exhibition and Convention” either in cooperation either with other national or international organizations. The convention elects the new President for the next term.
The following describes the APFF leadership in chronology:
Year Country Appointment
2003 Indonesia Y.W.Junardy as the 1st President and Robert Steven of Indonesia as the Secretary General.
2005 Taiwan Prof. Amy Liang (Taiwan) was elected as the 2nd President and Robert Steven of Indonesia as the Secretary General.
2007 Thailand Montri Suksermsongchai (Thailand) as the 3rd President
2009 Philippines Roberto Gopiao (Philippines) as the 4th President.
2011/13 Vietnam Ms. Hoang Ny (Vietnam) as the 5th President.
2015 Malaysia Dato’ Pui Khiang Khang (Malaysia) as the 6th President.
and Mr. Kim Sae Won (Korea) as the Vice President.
2017/2019 Korea Kim Sae Won (Korea) as the 7th President and Dato’ Chua Kok Hwa as the Vice President.
2019/2023 Philippines Bobby Gopiao (Philippines) as the 8th President.
2023/2025 Korea Mr. Kim Yong Muk (Korea) appointed as the 9th President.
The Asia Pacific Bonsai Friendship Federation (ABFF) was established in Manila on February 28th, 2003 coincided with the ASPAC VII conducted by the Philippine Bonsai Society, Inc. The federation's founding members include The Philippine Bonsai Society, Inc., Thai Bonsai Association, Malaysia Bonsai and Suiseki Society, Vietnam Natural and Traditional Beauty Association, Taiwan National Bonsai Association, Korea Small Bonsai Association (note: now replaced by Korea Shoshin Bonsai Association), Singapore Penjing & Stone Society and Indonesian Bonsai Society.
The name “Asia-Pacific Region” was established at the 4th WBFF Board of Director’s Meeting in Munich in June 3, 2001. The federation adopted the same name to represent the region. While carrying the name ‘Asia Pacific”, it does not include China, Japan and Australia/New Zealand as each of those countries represents as a region in WBFF.
The 2015 ABFF Convention & Exhibition - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 5-8 June 2015 Theme of “Enjoy Bonsai, Enhance Relationship”
The 2015 ABFF Convention & Exhibition was conducted by The Vietnam Natural and Traditional Beauty Association at the National Rin Rin Park, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 5-8 June 2015. The event was participated by 198 overseas delegates from 18 countries: Thailand, Taiwan, China, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Italy, USA, Puerto Rico, Philippine, Czech Republic, France, Australia, Japan, Lebanon and Vietnam.
The opening was attended by HCM People’s Committee, Member of the Executive Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam and WBFF Director for Asia Pacific and WBFF International Consultant.
Over 800 spectacular bonsai which were strictly collected and chosen from various regions in Vietnam were displayed in this event.
Conducting the bonsai demonstration were:
Prof. Amy Liang (Taiwan)
Mr. Kunio Kobayashi (Japan)
Mr. Kim Seok Ju (Korea)
Mr. Vaclav Novak (Czech Republic)
Mr. Liu Chuanguang (China)
Mr. Sujay Shah & Mrs. Ruppa Shah (India)
An interesting presentation on the History of Stone Art was also conducted by Dr Thomas Elias (USA)
The ABFF Convention meeting unanimously agreed and elected Dato’ Pui Khiang Khang, President of Malaysia Bonsai & Suiseki Society, as the new ABFF President and Mr. Kim Sae Won, Chairman of Korea Shoshin Bonsai Association, as the ABFF Vice President for the period of 2015-2017.
The 13th Asia Pacific Bonsai and Viewing Stones Convention & Exhibition
Minutes of Convention Meeting (ASPAC 2015)
The 13th ASPAC was conducted jointly with the BCI 2015 Convention. The convention was conducted on 17 November 2015 at Guangdong Hotel, Guangzhou. The meeting was attended by country representatives from 11 Asia Pacific countries, i.e. Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and USA.
Mr. Hu Yun Hua officially opened the meeting by welcoming all the participants to attend the 2015 BCI and the 13th ASPAC in Guangzhou. He further updated the programs and reported that the event will showcase 388 selected bonsai, bonsai demonstration by bonsai experts from China and overseas, viewing stones lectures and bonsai/stone tours. He hoped the meeting will come up with solid decision as to the country hosting the next ASPAC.
Mr. M. Paiman expressed his great pleasure that for the second time we managed to conduct jointly an international event. The first was a joint event between 7th WBC and 12th ASPAC in Jintan, China in 2013.
Special guests attending the meeting were:
Mr. Jiro Fukuda, Chairman of WBFF
Mr. Yukihiko Konishi, WBFF International Consultant
Mr. Hatsuji Kato, Chairman of the 8th WBC Saitama Convention 2017)
Dr. Thomas Elias, BCI President/WBFF International Consultant
What is the relationship of ABFF and Asia Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention & Exhibition (ASPAC)?
There is no formal relationship between the two institutions. ASPAC is not part of ABFF vice versa. ASPAC was first conducted in Bali in 1991 and becoming an informal biennial gathering of bonsai enthusiast and has been going on sustainably and smoothly until today. Being an informal gathering, ASPAC has no by-laws, no organization structure and as such no membership. The Asian countries attending the informal gathering make decision in a spirit of “Friendship Through Bonsai and Suiseki”. ASPAC has wider geographic coverage (Asia Pacific Countries) while ABFF is limited to ASEAN plus Korea.
At the 9th ASPAC Convention in Bali in 2019, it was agreed to appoint Mr. Paiman as the Chairman of the Board of Advisor of ASPAC and all countries who have conducted ASPAC become member of the Board of Advisor and subsequently I was appointed as the Secretary General of the Board of Advisor. The latest 14th ASPAC was conducted in Taiwan in 2017 and the coming 15th ASPAC will be held in HCMC Vietnam in November 2019.
While no formal relationship, actually all countries have shown their commitment to supporting both ASPAC and ABFF events.
WBFF Director, Asia Pacific Region
Secretary General of Board of Advisory of ASPAC