2016 / Huntington Library/ Annual Viewing Stone Exhibition by California Aiseki Kai, Dec 26 – Jan. 3

Viewing Stones Exhibition by California Aiseki Kai at Huntington Library. (Cultural News Photo)

Viewing Stones Exhibition by California Aiseki Kai at Huntington Library. (Cultural News Photo)

YouTube Video

Forwarded for California Aiseki Kai

“Viewing stones” are small, natural rocks that may evoke an emotion depending on the viewer’s mood and life experience.

The contour of the stone may suggest an endless scene of nature such as a mountain, island or a plateau or may suggest a human or animal figure or may have patterns that give the impression of natural scenes, such as a flock of birds in flight or celestial views.

Viewing stones have been used by the literati for meditation and inspiration for centuries. (Larry Ragle)

The members of California Aiseki Kai will present their 26th annual exhibition of viewing stones at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.

Please note that we are in a new location, the Botanical Center, which is just a few feet from the main entrance. There will be signs leading you to the Center.

Stones will be displayed in the Ahmanson Classroom and Banta Hall in the Brody Botanical Center.

The show will be open December 26, 2015 through January 3, 2016. The hours are 10:30 until 4:30.  General admission required.

(Note: The Huntington and the exhibition will be closed on New Year’s Day.)

There will be more than 100 stones on display. All of the stones were found in North America, the majority from California rivers, deserts or ocean shores and have been collected by club members.

Docents will be available to guide individuals or groups through the exhibition.

Artistic stones, large and small, have been appreciated as art for centuries. The introduction of stones small enough to be carried into one’s home, studio or office originated in China, 600 AD or earlier.

There are scenes on Japanese scrolls, 600-700 AD, depicting Chinese merchants carrying viewing stones from their ships docked in Japan when trade between the two nations began. By the mid- 20th century to date, the number of collectors has grown dramatically in the Americas and Europe.

The Japanese use the title, suiseki or kansho seki. These stones are intended to evoke a variety of feelings. For example, priests and artists viewed the stones for meditation and inspiration while a samurai warrior is said to have boldly proclaimed, while holding a small suiseki suggestive of a mountain range, “I have the whole world in my hand.”