page contents The Little Bonsai

Growing and Caring for Bonsai Trees

Growing and Caring for Bonsai Trees

The Art of Shiwan Mudmen Figurines 石灣窯

shiwan mudmen figurines

In China and Vietnam, Shiwan ornaments are very popular among many Bonsai communities. It takes sometime to master crafts skills of Shiwan sculptures. Most of authentic statues are market and clearly distinguishable from cheap copies. There is an old saying, ''Original is always better than a copy'' and such philosophy certainly applies to Mudmen figurines too.

Bonsai with Shiwan
Bonsai with Shiwan Figurine on display

The manufacture of ceramics is an ancient industry in Kwangtung Province of China; indeed, many of its archaeological sites actually contain kilns dating between the Neolithic Age (4200-3500 BC) and the Ming Dynasty (1368-1744). Late 7th- and 8th-century ceramists in northern China, working primarily at kilns at T'ung-ch'uan near Ch'ang-an and at Kung-hsien in Honan province, also developed "three-color" (san ts'ai) pottery wares and figurines that were slipped and covered with a low-fired lead glaze tinted with copper or ferrous oxide in green, yellow, brown, and sometimes blue; the bright colors were allowed to mix or run naturally over the robust contour of these vessels, which are among the finest in the history of Chinese pottery. To a large extend, the art of Shiwan figurine craftmenship is relatively unknown in Europe and in the US. Or lets say, its still not as popular as many expected it would be.

Some time between the Tang and Sung periods (960-1279), the town of Shekwan began to go commercial, undoubtedly the result of the opening of Canton to foreign traders. As time went on, enormous amounts of utilitarian pottery began to be produced: cooking utensils, dishes, and jars; and soon, to appease local demand, more decorative figures which later became known as Shekwan ware. It comes in a wide variety of glazes with many interesting names: among these are: sour carambola (mottled purple-red), raindrops on the wall (blue with white drippings), and sea mouse (pale blue and shiny green).

Laozi ''Old Master'' riding an Ox
Today, the Shiwan Artistic Ceramic Factory (est. in 1952) carries on the figurine production established in the Ming Dynasty. Hundreds of people are employed, of whom two thirds are women. Following the principle of “quality product” is based upon elaboration, each piece of ceramics with “signs” of the art masters is produced via six complicated procedures (including design, plaster molding, pouring slurry for figuration, amending cog, glazing and burning). Employees work 8 hours a day, making an average of about $60 a month, although sculptors make more. Production of the factory today is composed largely of figurines of people and animals, with some miniatures and tableware. 

More than 2 million pieces are made each year, of which 60 percent are exported, mostly to the rest of Asia. Because the clay is so plastic, many of these figures can be modeled in incredible detail; hence, different kinds of figures have different expressions with which we can identify them. A god or a general is usually dignified; the drunken Tang Dynasty poet Li Po is usually depicted lifting a glass to the moon. Arms and legs are usually modeled quite powerfully to give an impression of quiet strength -- you will notice these most particularly on the good-looking fishermen." A professional team of art masters has inherited and developed the outstanding tradition of Shiwan ceramic techniques ranging from lively earthen figures, statues and animals with thick and earthy ceramic glaze, to modern ceramics of plain, elegant and fresh patterns, thus forming its own unique artistic style and making Shiwan ceramic techniques extraordinarily splendid.

ecommerce store shopify

One of the best shiwan (shekwan) sculptures we've ever encountered, is the legendary Laozi riding an ox: Laozi means "old master". It is said that he mounted an ox and headed west, before leaving, the border guard asked if he would write down his ideas, which Laozi obliged to do, thus he wrote the Tao-te ching (Book of Changes). The robes are done in a rich white glaze that is naturally aged with time, the glass-like eyes of the ox reflects the pinnacle of the potters art and is indicative of the very early 20th century (late Qing, early Republic). 

Because of the superlative and delicate craftsmanship of Shiwan pottery, most of the Ceramic Sculptures and Ceramic Figurines created there have been being collected in the national museum and by collectors all over the world. Shiwan Chinese Ceramic Figurines and Ceramic Sculptures is nowadays a popular idea for special gifts, Chinese collectibles and as home decor figurines.

Shiwan figurine
Sitting Shiwan Mudman with hammer

Antique Shiwan Mudmen era 1910 - 1920

Wide Shiwan figurine selection can be found here:
Decorated Chinese Shiwan Ceramic Figurine
Shiwan Doll Master sitting with Peach (longevity)
Shiwan Shang Yuxuan with Feng Shui ornaments
Shiwan Ancient Chinese Lady painting in Garden
Shiwan Twelve beauties Lin Daiyu 
Golden Pumpkin symbolizing Luck
Shiwan Taoist character made of red glaze ceramic

Interesting Bonsai articles can be found here:

Please click here for more information on --> Chinese Penjing Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Origins of Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Art of Saikei Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Japanese Tanuki Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> How to Water a Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Bonsai Healing Methods

Thank you for visiting my blog and feel free to subscribe to this blog and leave your message on the comment section below. Remember, good feedbags or bad remarks, it doesn't matter!

Hòn non bộ Bonsai for peace, happiness and tranquility in Vietnam

Hon non bo landscape

Please correct me if I am wrong, but this article tries to be as accurate as possible on how Bonsai culture was introduced to Vietnam. In fact, as a visitor you can admire Bonsais in almost every town Hòn non bộ. Your comments and suggestions on Bonsai culture in Vietnam are welcome in this blog!

Classic Bonsai Stamp, Ficus Glomerata
Hòn means Island, Non means Mountain, and Bô means a combination of water, mountain range and forest, or it can also mean "imitating the way the scenery looks in miniature" in Vietnam. North and South, both parts of Vietnam share the same passion of styling, modeling and taking care of wonderful Bonsai masterpieces. 

The Vietnamese version of Bonsai is called ''Hòn non bộ'' which mainly focuses on depicting landscapes of islands and mountains, usually in contact with water, and decorated with live trees and other plants. Like water and land penjing, hòn non bộ specimens can feature miniature figures, vehicles, and structures.

Growing bonsai trees (Japanese: tree in a pot) is very much a part of Vietnamese culture and as popular today as it ever was, particularly among the elderly. Many may wonder why a Japanese term is used to describe the art, but the word bonsai derived from the Chinese (pen zai). The art of planting trees in pots first began in China then spread to surrounding countries, including Vietnam and Korea. Vietnamese Bonsai are becoming more popular than ever, especially in todays modern times with countless information provided by the Internet and also free market access to Bonsai's.

How It Started

No official document explains when bonsai was introduced to Vietnam, but  some researchers say that Fujian province somewhere in his paternal bloodline. How ever this fact remains to be officially proven.

It all began in Ly Dynasty (1010-1225) and was flourishing in the ancient capital of Thang Long, now Ha Noi. In 1009, the Early Lê dynasty passed from flourish and downfall in 29 years with 3 Emperors Lê Đại Hành, Lê Trung Tông and Lê Ngọa Triều. During the Ly Dynasty, China had tremendous influence over Vietnam and both countries shared knowledge, traded goods and crafts skills and religious philosophies. In other words, China and Vietnam had an amicable relationship.

How ever, its known that the last emperor Lê Ngọa Triều died in 1009 after evil and brutal ruling in Đại Cồ Việt which made him and his dynasty becoming unpopular to civilians. The founder of the Lý Công Uan has been said to have had origins from China. Hòn Non Bộ, as well as miniature plants and rocks, are mentioned in Đoạn Truòng Tân Thanh, a thousand-page book by Nguyễn Du.

Hòn Non Bộ may be quite large and elaborate or small and simple. It was used to grace the courtyard entrance of the traditional Vietnamese home. Throughout Vietnam history, Hòn Non Bộ have been built for emperors, generals, and other important people as monuments, decorations, personal vistas, and as cultural icons. An example of Hòn Non Bộ scenery is on display at the Balboa Park, San Diego, California USA. To some, they can see the tenets of Confucianism. Others see Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. But more than that, bonsai trees and the scenes they depict are believed to bring good fortune, long life, strengthen family ties and even ensure fertility. They are magical, not just to behold, but in every sense of the word. They are the world in miniature, and all its mysteries and magic.

Vietnamese Bonsai

Hon non bo
A classical Hon non bo Bonsai on display

The cousin of Hon non bo, a Chinese Penjing Bonsai master piece on display

Shiwan Bonsai
Bonsai Ornaments, Chinese Shiwan (Shekwan) ware. These beautiful figurines are used to enhance landscaping

More Bonsai articles can be found here:

Please click here for more information on --> Chinese Penjing Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Origins of Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Art of Saikei Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Japanese Tanuki Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> How to Water a Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Bonsai Healing Methods

Thank you for visiting my blog and feel free to subscribe or leave your message at the comment section below. Please always remember, good feedback's or bad remarks, it doesn't matter!

The Art of Penjing 樹木盆景

Penjing Bonsai

The Chinese Bonsai is called Penjing, also known as penzai, is the ancient Chinese art of depicting artistically formed trees, other plants, and landscapes in miniature.

Penjing generally fall into one of three categories:

Shumu penjing (樹木盆景): Tree penjing that focuses on the depiction of one or more trees and optionally other plants in a container, with the composition's dominant elements shaped by the creator through trimming, pruning, and wiring.

Penjing Bonsai Book
Shanshui penjing (山水盆景): Landscape penjing that depicts a miniature landscape by carefully selecting and shaping rocks, which are usually placed in a container in contact with water. Small live plants are placed within the composition to complete the depiction.

Shuihan penjing (水旱盆景): A water and land penjing style that effectively combines the first two, including miniature trees and optionally miniature figures and structures to portray a landscape in detail.

Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Japanese traditions of bonsai and saikei, as well as the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ. Generally speaking, tree penjing specimens differ from bonsai by allowing a wider range of tree shapes (more "wild-looking") and by planting them in bright-colored and creatively shaped pots. In contrast, bonsai are more simplified in shape (more "refined" in appearance) with larger-in-proportion trunks, and are planted in unobtrusive, low-sided containers with simple lines and muted colors.

While saikei depicts living landscapes in containers, like water and land penjing, it does not use miniatures to decorate the living landscape. Hòn non bộ focuses on depicting landscapes of islands and mountains, usually in contact with water, and decorated with live trees and other plants. Like water and land penjing, hòn non bộ specimens can feature miniature figures, vehicles, and structures. Distinctions among these traditional forms have been blurred by some practitioners outside of Asia, as enthusiasts explore the potential of local plant and pot materials without strict adherence to traditional styling and display guidelines.

What is the difference between Chinese bonsai and a Japanese bonsai tree ?

Ancient Penjing
Basically, a Japanese bonsai tree appears a little more formal than Chinese penjing. Even the Japanese bonsai containers are usually more subtle, in both color and design. So that is the very basic difference. You rarely, if ever, see rocks or figurines in a Japanese composition.

Chinese bonsai has always fascinated me. (Perhaps that's the reason, bunjin aka literati is one of my favorite "bonsai" styles.) It wasn't until I read Karin Albert's 'Penjing: A Chinese Renaissance' several years ago that I grasped a deeper meaning and the genuine differences. She wrote a beautifully worded, thorough article on the subject for theArt of Bonsai blog.

Frequently, designs appear bolder, livelier, and more playful, sometimes even bizarre. By contrast, a Japanese bonsai tree tends to look neater and more formalized. Regarding the latter, there is a greater sense of control; the viewer gets the feeling that not even the most minute detail has been left to chance. The minimalism of many Japanese designs can feel comforting and safe, but it also produces a high degree of predictability.

By and large, it seems that Japanese artists have a strong tendency to impose order on their creations, whereas Chinese artists appear willing to embrace a measure of chaos. Clearly, they are less concerned with rules and the pursuit of perfection. Does it mean that there are no rules in penjing at all? Absolutely not. Conversations with penjing artists reveal that they are less interested in displays of technical virtuosity and ideal form. Instead, they seek to capture and convey sentiment and mood in their work. Their goal is to reveal an inner beauty, an essence inherent in nature.

Famous Bonsai producers in China include the Shanghai Botanic Gardens whose mission is preventing plant extinction and educating people. With over 150 Bonsai gardens, Suzhou is believed to have the loveliest Bonsai gardens in China. One of Suzhou’s many gardens, the Humble Administrators Garden, is listed as a World Heritage Site. The Hangzhou Flower Nursery in Zhejiang is famous for its two-and-a-half acre Bonsai garden that includes 3,500 Bonsai plants.


Chinese Bonsai can be classified into several groups including size, the province from which they are
Penjing Shirt - Click on image for more details
derived from and the type of Bonsai. Although Chinese Bonsai comes in many sizes, Chinese Rock Bonsai stands out because they are available from just a few centimeters in height up to two meters in height. Provinces throughout China have their own genres, or schools, of Bonsai. Among them are the Suzhou School (featuing 'Tree Branches Overhanging a Cliff'), the Zhejiang School (featuring 'Tall Trunk'), the Sichuan School (featuring 'Reclining and Slanting Trunk'), the Hunan School (featuring 'Hanging Cliff'), the Hubei School (featuring 'Flat-Top'), the Liaoning School (featuring 'Earthworm Curves'), the Beijing School, the Shanghai School and the Lingnan (Guangzhou) School. Types of Bonsai include tree Bonsai, landscape Bonsai, flower Bonsai, plant Bonsai and rock Bonsai.

Care and Maintenance

Bonsai plants need regular care just like other plants. Watering, fertilizing, trimming and the occasional re-potting (every three years or when the roots are bound) will ensure that the Bonsai is healthy and lives long. The art of Bonsai takes patience and diligence but with proper care, a Bonsai will repay the owner many times over. Transforming a small tree can transform your life.

The Harmony of Feng Shui & Bonsai

Interior Design - Feng Shui

Bonsai and Feng Shui are two ancient practices that both represent prosperity, harmony and peace. In recent years, people have begun to combine the two practices in an effort to bring balance and beauty to the home. The history of Feng Shui dates back on 12th century and I think that this blog post would be endless writing about the entire history of Feng Shui. There are unlimited tree species that can fit perfectly in a modern style living room. The tree species can be found in following blog post --> Tree species used for Bonsai 

What Is Feng Shui?

Basically Feng Shui isn't rocket science, dont be afraid to ask questions. Any Feng Shui master that studied its principles and understands Feng Shui philosophy will be more than happy to offer guidance. 

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that concentrates on the placement of items and arrangement of space to achieve environmental harmony. Feng, meaning wind, and shui, water, are two elements used in the practice. There is as much talk about feng shui as there is confusion about it. The range of feng shui stereotypes is very wide – from easy tips on how to move your furniture and instantly change your life to complex and often contradicting calculations for every area of your house and every action you take in life.

People turn to feng shui for all sorts of reasons – to find their life mate, attract wealth, improve health
Feng Shui
Famous Feng Shui Book by Lillian Too
or get the winning lottery ticket.

Does all this confusion mean that feng shui is a new age fad with no power? I mean, if feng shui were a serious science and art, why there is so much confusion and contradiction about it?

Starting with 2 baguas (why on earth there are 2 baguas and which one is better?) to very different answers you’ll get to the same question; I understand why feng shui is often equated to new age mumbo jumbo and something a serious person would not even look into.

However, here is the thing – serious people do look into it, and they do get results. I have many clients who are anything but “new age junkies” and they achieved great results by applying feng shui. So what is feng shui and why is it so difficult to understand it?

Well, for one, feng shui is a very, very old art and science. Its history goes back thousands of years. That is really, really old, which means really, really easy to misinterpret.

Because feng shui is such an ancient body of knowledge, it has also been fully “steeped” in cultural stereotypes. This makes it very important to distinguish between the culturally specific expressions of energy and the very essence of any given form of energy.

Chinese Infrared Therapy Stickers.
Click on image for more details
For example, when I think of a lifelong love partnership, I can come up with many images, none of them being the Mandarin ducks (the traditional feng shui representation of love & marriage). This is because I have no cultural or emotional connections to this image.

However, for many Chinese people the image of Mandarin ducks will genuinely speak of devoted love because there is strong cultural lore connected to this image. So, approaching feng shui in an intelligent way and with a good dose of healthy discrimination is the cornerstone of successful feng shui work.

Ok, so what is feng shui?

Feng shui is part of the complex Taoist body of knowledge that includes the field of traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture, use of herbs, etc), energy work such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi; Chinese astrology and other disciplines from the wide field of philosophical knowledge related to the I Ching, Tao Te Ching and other ancient Taoist works.

In itself, feng shui is composed of many schools. It started with the Landscape School (which studies the landforms and their influence on human health and well-being) and then branched out into many different schools – the Flying Star (Xuan Kong), the Eight Mansions (East/West), the Four pillars (Ba Zhi), etc.

Basically, various feng shui schools that deal with either the time or the space dimensions (or both). The youngest feng shui school is the Western school based on the BTB feng shui school brought to US in mid-eighties.

History aside (if you are curious, you can read my articles on how feng shui started) – what is feng shui in a nutshell and why should you care? Let’s stay with this question for a bit.

Feng shui is, first and foremost, energy work. The most accurate definition of feng shui I have ever came across is of feng shui as acupuncture of the space.

Feng shui opens up powerful energy channels in your home to help it get stronger, more harmonious and powerful. This, in turns, nourishes and strengthens your own energy.

Ancient feng shui masters knew what quantum physics is telling us today – that everything around us is composed of endless energy fields connecting everything you see, feel and touch (as well as millions of things we do not see with our physical eyes).

There is really no separation between you and everything that surrounds you (that sure includes your home).

So if you want to stay healthy, happy, enjoy love and success (or whatever your definition of happy life is); your space has to support and nourish you. It has to be well suited for your energy.

Just like being in a company of a happy person makes your own energy happy, the same happens with your living (or working) space. If your space has good feng shui vibes – healthy, uplifting, loving and nourishing, you will feel supported and happy.

Everything will flow easier for you just because this is the energy you are surrounded by and nourished most often.

Compare a good feng shui house to a piece of clothing that is really wonderful in all aspects – beautiful, comfortable, made of exquisite materials, etc.

By the same token, a bad feng shui house is like wearing ill suited clothing day in, day out – imagine how this feels.

It definitely makes you feel restricted, unhappy, angry, and your energy becomes stagnant and blocked. (The reason I use the example with clothing is because houses are often called “your third skin” in feng shui, with clothing being your second skin).

Of course, it is much easier to see this dynamic with clothing than with your living or working spaces! A house can look beautiful and have really awful feng shui; and a house can also look pretty modest but have very harmonious, healthy feng shui energy.

History Of Feng Shui in brief

Evidence shows that the practice dates back to around 4000 BC, when the doors of many Chinese homes were aligned to certain patterns of stars that appeared following the winter solstice. Early practitioners of Feng Shui used astronomy in this manner to identify correlations between the universe and humans. Other ancient sites confirm that the practice was used throughout the country in building construction.

Feng Shui became more popular during the 12th century, when China was ruled by the Song Dynasty. Historians believe the practice surged at the time due to its connections with Confucianism, the era’s dominant philosophy. The practice saw resurgence in the 19th century when the Chinese government published official charts and diagrams to promote Feng Shui.

Some aspects of Feng Shui inspired environment

feng shui apartment
Bonsai is displayed at the right hand corner of the open space room

Interior design livingroom

feng shui meeting room
Modern style meeting room with Bonsai tree in full display

Small living room with Bonsai placed in the middle. Some may like it, some may not.

Bonsai in bathrooms

feng shui bathroom
The kind of bathroom I would love to have

feng shui bedroom

Theories Of Feng Shui

Feng shui theories today mainly work with the goal to arrange the environment made by humans in certain spots known to have good Qi. In order to find this spot, it should be the right location and an axis in time-based on the accepted theories. In order to understand it better, here are some of the theories that feng shui has been known to uphold in its practice.


The Qi, pronounce as “chi”, is a difficult word to understand and is usually left as it is, without translation. In the most literal sense, the word means “air”. In today’s feng shui, Qi is similar to the word “energy”. A more traditional explanation of Qi as it relates to an understanding of local environments, the orientation of buildings, and the interaction between the land to the vegetation and the soil quality. An instrument that is used to determine the flow of Qi is the luopan.

The theory of Qi stems from the different beliefs from the Axial Age. One such belief holds that the heavens influence life on Earth. This may seem outrageous to some people, but scientists today now know that space weather exists and can affect some technology such as GPS, power grids, communication and navigation systems, etc. and the internal orienting faculties of even birds and other creatures.

Hanok the korean housePolarity

Polarity is another theory used in the practice of feng shui. It is expressed in feng shui as the Yin and Yang Theory. Polarity that is expressed through yin and yang can be compared to a bipolar magnetic field. It is made up of two forces- one creating a force and one receiving it. Yang is the force acting and yin is receiving. This interaction is considered as an early understanding of Qirality. The Yin Yang Theory and connected to another theory called the Five Phase Theory or Five Element Theory.

The so-called “five elements” of feng shui are water, wood, fire, earth or soil, and metal. These elements are said to be composed of yin and yang in precise amounts. The interaction between the two forces became the foundation for the practice of feng shui and how it is said to strive to achieve balance.


The two ancient diagrams that are known as the Bagua are common fixtures in the practice in feng shui. They can be compared to the cardinal points of the compass today. The bagua diagrams are also linked with the sifang or “four directions” method of divination that was popularly used during the Shang dynasty although the sifang is considered to be much older.

It was also known to be used at Niuheliang as well as a big fixture in the Hongshan culture’s practice of astronomy. And it is in this area of China that can be connected to Huangdi, who was also known as the Yellow Emperor. It was Huangdi who was known to have invented the south-pointing spoon.

The cardinal directions that contained in the bagua diagram are said to be determined by the marker-stars of the mega-constellations known as the Four Celestial Animals. The East is considered to be the Blue Green Dragon. The South is the Red Bird. The West is also known to be the White Tiger while the North stood for the Dark Turtle.

These feng shui theories also loom large even in today’s practice of trying to achieve a good balance in the environment as well as the lives of people.

An Introduction To Feng Shui’s Guidelines

The following guidelines represent basic foundational aspects of Feng Shui and can be applied to any dwelling, landscape or environment.

Clutter should be eliminated as much as possible.
There should be a clean line of sight from chair positions to door entrances.
Straight lines and sharp corners should be avoided where people rest.
Curved and twisted roads are often used to confuse and eliminate evil spirits.
The power of reflection and redirection can be harnessed by strategically placing crystals, wind chimes and mirrors around the home.

Ecommerce website

What Is Bonsai?

Bonsai is an ancient Asian practice that involves creating miniature tree specimens. Both an art and a science, Bonsai combines aesthetic beauty with natural plants. To successfully grow and care for a Bonsai, growers must have patience and appreciate the plant’s essential spirit.
Bonsai in autumn
What Is The Connection Between Bonsai And Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is all about fostering harmony and balance. In a similar manner, Bonsai trees are trained to
grow in shapes that represent natural balance. The trees can be grown in many styles, including cascading, upright, group and forest styles. Each of these styles brings a certain harmony to the tree.

Feng Shui supports the addition of plants in the home, including Bonsai trees. When placed in an office setting, the trees are believed to bring luck. This is especially true of plants placed in the room’s east, south-east or south corners. Bonsai trees can also be used to soften sharp lines and promote air flow through dead spaces.

Bonsai trees also bring the important element of wood into the home in a natural way. According to Feng Shui, wood is one of the five elements of life. As such, wood influences the flow of qi and is believed to have healing properties.

Plants, including Bonsai trees, can be a good indicator of the type of energy present in a certain environment. Plants are far more sensitive than humans when it comes to environmental energy. If your Bonsai tree dies, replace it with another tree in the same space. The death of the second tree usually indicated negative energy in the area.

When the principles of Feng Shui are applied to Bonsai, the result is a balanced natural landscape that in turn can bring balance to the surrounding environment. Bonsai trees are a practical way to bring both nature and the positive energy associated with Feng Shui into the home.

More Bonsai articles can be found here:

Please click here for more information on --> Chinese Penjing Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Origins of Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Art of Saikei Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Japanese Tanuki Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> How to Water a Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Bonsai Healing Methods

Thank you for visiting my blog and feel free to subscribe or leave your message at the comment section below. Please always remember, good feedback's or bad remarks, it doesn't matter!