Bonsai Tonight

Suiseki at the 4th US National Bonsai Exhibition

Posted in Exhibits by Jonas Dupuich on October 21, 2014

This year’s US National Bonsai Exhibition included a special treat for suiseki enthusiasts – the Invitational Suiseki Exhibition. Fifty stones from around the world were displayed with accents and bonsai.

Suiseki

Suiseki

Suiseki

Suiseki

It was quite a bonus to see such great stones so well displayed.

Suiseki

Three-point suiseki display

Suiseki

The stone

Daiza

Daiza by John Naka

Suiseki

Formal display with scroll

Suiseki

The stone on a pillow

Each stone warranted attention for its shape, color and texture.

Suiseki

Suiseki

Suiseki

Suiseki

Accent

Accent

Suiseki

Suiseki

Suiseki

Figure stone

Crab

Crab accent

Suiseki

Hut stone

Accent

Accent

Suiseki

Suiseki

International contributions to the Japan Suiseki Exhibition

Posted in Excursions, Exhibits by Jonas Dupuich on May 13, 2014

One of the remarkable aspects of the Japan Suiseki Exhibition is that all of the stones on display were from Japan. This included a number of stones of Japanese origin that returned to Japan for the exhibition. The contributors included some of the better known suiseki enthusiasts outside of Japan – people who have worked hard to promote the art and have contributed greatly to its popularity around the world.

Kamuikotan ishi -

Kamuikotan ishi, “Homeland” – Hideko Metaxas

Sajigawa ishi - Larry and Nina Ragle

Sajigawa ishi – Larry and Nina Ragle

Kamogawa beninagashi ishi - Martin Pauli

Kamogawa beninagashi ishi – Martin Pauli

Tamagawa ishi - William N. Valavanis

Tamagawa ishi – William N. Valavanis

Setagawa ishi - Tom Elias

Setagawa ishi – Tom Elias

Seigaku ishi - Sean L. Smith

Seigaku ishi – stone and outstanding daiza by Sean L. Smith

Chikuzen maguro ishi - Wil

Chikuzen maguro ishi – Wil

Touring the exhibit was a treat – I feel lucky to have seen so many great stones in a single venue, and it was great to feel the excitement that was shared by suiseki veterans and casual visitors alike. The event makes it easy to understand the appeal of collecting beautiful and interesting stones. It also makes me excited about future such events.

Kamogawa ishi

Kamogawa ishi

Sajigawa ishi

Sajigawa ishi

Neo kikka seki

Neo kikka seki

Kamuikotan ishi

Kamuikotan ishi

Setagawa ishi

Setagawa ishi

Kurokamo ishi

Kurokamo ishi

Setagawa ishi

Setagawa ishi

In addition to stones, the exhibit featured suiseki accessories including figures, scrolls, suiban, doban, and display stands. Their inclusion was a great addition to the exhibit as it gave visitors the opportunity to focus on important suiseki display elements that can be easily overlooked when paired with outstanding stones.

Suiban

Suiban

Doban - Harada Houn

Doban by Harada Houn

Display stands

Display stands

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Japan Suiseki Exhibition

Posted in Excursions, Exhibits by Jonas Dupuich on May 9, 2014

On February 9th, 2014, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum opened its doors to an historic event – the Japan Suiseki Exhibition. Produced by the Nippon Suiseki Association, the event featured some of Japan’s best-known viewing stones and accessories. Highlights included suiseki that had rarely left their homes in temples or private collections such as Kurokamiyama or “Black Hair Mountain.” This spectacular stone was displayed with its case – which doubles as a daiza – and handscrolls completed in 1812 that describe its origins. (For great photos of Kurokamiyama, the handscrolls and all of the other stones on display, find a copy of the Exhibit book. If you know where it can be purchased, feel free to post links in the comments.)

Recently under the leadership of Chairman Kunio Kobayashi and Chief Administrator Seiji Morimae, the reinvigorated Association is enjoying the success of the exhibit and is looking forward to future events. Helping coordinate this year’s exhibit – and providing English translations for the book – is suiseki aficionado Wil from Japan. On the afternoon I visited, Wil shared some of his favorite entries and described the excitement within the organization and broader community about the event. It was a great orientation to a super event – for this, thank you Wil!

In all, the exhibit featured 4 Special Entries, 28 Tokonoma Displays, 137 General Exhibits, and 15 Suiseki Accessories including suiban, doban, and display stands. Here are some of the stones on display.

 Ibigawa ishi

 Batei ishi

 Ibigawa ishi

Batei ishi – “Dragon Gate”

 Sengen ishi

Hakkaizan seki

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Setagawa ishi

 Aka tanba ishi – the calligraphy reads, “Clouds free from obstructive thoughts”

Wormwood Patch

Yase sudachi maguro ishi – “Wormwood Patch” – night-scene scroll by Yamaguchi Houshun

 Furuya ishi – “Hazy Passage of the Immortals”

 Hakkaizan seki – “Moon Crossing Ravine”

 Visitors appreciating the General Exhibits

 Omugawa ishi

 Kurokamo ishi

 Abegawa ishi

 Neo kikka seki

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Tête-à-tête

Posted in Excursions, Exhibits by Jonas Dupuich on May 6, 2014

A seated figure, or figures, arranged face to face. Such a suggestion came to this stone’s owner and the idea stuck, earning it the name, “Chat.” Chat was recently on display along with scores of other impressive suiseki at a historical event held in Tokyo this past February. Details to follow.

Chat

“Chat” – Yase sudachi maguro ishi – 22cm

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