WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

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WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

Post  ngoquangvu06 on Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:12 pm

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

I collected some infomations to sum up for SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD and inform to share with your idea .



Suiseki Shape 30 points
Suiseki Quality 20 points
Suiseki Color 15 points
Suiseki Stand 10 points
Overall Presentation 25 points = 100 points
Overall Presentation includes : main theme, indication,arrangement, suiseki name
  Award : > 95 points – Gold Medal
> 90 - 95 points – Silver Medal
> 85- 90 point – Brass Medal

Shape
The first consideration for a rock is that it should be naturally shaped. Display rocks can then be divided into two groups: abstract and representational. The former gives more room for the imagination and are admired by many people. But rock lovers also appreciate representational rocks which can be subdivided into those representing landscape and those representing particular objects. Landscape representational rocks resemble hills, scenes after snow, cliffs and peaks. They can be further subdivided into those representing near or far distant scenes. The latter should exhibit proportion between height and width to give a proper framework for the vista represented. Rocks resembling particular objects, such as human figures and animals may either bear such likeness in shape or spirit. The merit of the latter is that they both resemble and yet do not resemble a given object.
Material
Display rocks should be hard in material and rich in texture. If shape pertains to the outward appearance of rocks, material refers to their inward quality. If the rock material is of good quality, even though it may have a less intriguing shape, it may still have value for a collector. Yet a rock that exhibits material hardness may also be concise in texture and upright or firm in appearance — qualities that will make it unique for display. In addition, the sound quality of a rock is closely linked to the quality of the material.
Color
Ideally, the hue and the luster should be natural, simple and pure. Most display rocks are naturally black, gray or yellowish brown, and hence are not valued for their bright coloration. Some old rocks that have been exposed to air or frequently touched by human hands have a special coating on the surface , a hue of natural antiquity that enhances the value of such rocks.
Spirit
Some rocks seem animated and inspiring; others manifest artistic conception — an insight or revelation that provokes thought and captivates the viewer. These qualities are quite subjective, and while collectors in the West may pay attention to more objective criteria such as shape, material, and color, their romantic charm and artistic conception are also features that make them unique for contemplation and appreciation. It is said that “a rock, though small, will show its intelligence when it has spirit”. Display rocks may appear to be in an active state or one of inertia. Rocks with inertia convey serenity and calmness as well as a sense of strength, while the more animated seem to fly, dance, shout or jump.

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Re: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

Post  Chris Cochrane on Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:50 pm

Hi Ngoquangvu... No one has responded to your posting. Perhaps, several who might have responded recognized your distillation of Kemin Hu’s notes on ”How to Judge a Rock" (hotlinked).” I wondered how folks would respond as the topic has merit.

Kemin added "spirit" shen to the often noted criteria of "shape" xing[/i , "material" [i]zhi and "color" se for describing qualities of Chinese shangshi collecting extending beyond Mi Fu's four categories (shou, zhou, lou, and tou), which applied originally to Taihu rock. The four criteria are wonderfully described. It was earlier published by Kemin in her book The Spirit of Gongshi (pp 27 & 28). I suspect it has been borrowed repeatedly & the author not always credited, but Kemin Hu should be noted. She deserves it.

You have added points to each category except “spirit.” Spirit is arguably the most important of the categories listed, & I imagine it is an oversight.

Should categories for helping to judge a stone (formative evaluation) be used to compare one person's stone (or stone taste) to another's (summative evaluation). I do not think they should as every stone is received on its own imaginative ground that should be clear of any other consideration.

One stone may have a title that makes it riveting for the viewer. John Naka’s “30,000 Foot Beard” suiseki at the U.S National Arboretum is shaped like a cigar (though not perfectly symmetrical) and is largely deep in color with two wispy white streaks running along part of its length. It is mounted vertically. With John’s title, you can imagine a face high on the stone with a wispy thin beard falling from it. You can also imagine a tall, thread waterfall of unimaginable (30,000 foot) height viewed from such great distance that is seems part mythic and part real. In this stone, that title is perhaps 30% or more in value of appreciating the stone. The stone with this title is rare & coveted. Because it was given to the (USA) National Bonsai & Penjing Museum by the beloved bonsai teacher John Naka, a knowledgable viewer will also feel the warmth of John in this stone, which influences its reception for many. The category of shape for which many stones might be judged is far less important on this stone, though its material solidity & wholeness are necessary to not deflect from its reception.

Points' systems are unlikely to reflect the many nuances of stone appreciation. One of the “points systems” for viewing stones to be published in English was Arthur Skolnik's "Judging Criteria" in the viewing stone newsletter Waiting to be Discovered (Winter 1997 edition). Whether using your broader distinctions or Arthur’s narrower distinctions, the fairness of consideration for receiving a stone is quickly lost in the rigidity of applying points.

From a broader view than assessing a “points’ evaluation,” the idea of seeing stones (or stone taste) in competition should be considered. Competition is as much (perhaps, more) about STATUS than concerned with aesthetic consideration or emotional response to stones and their display. Stone appreciation arguably arises in accepting nature’s phenomena & our experience of it as presented through stones. The humble heart required to fully appreciate this moment must be set aside in competition to find reason for discrimination.

_________________
... visit the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington DC USA-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.com

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Re: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

Post  qseki on Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:05 pm

Hi Chris,

Thank you very much for revitalize this difficult theme.
Let me advance that, according to my own experience, it is much harder work to evaluate suiseki than bonsai. I am used to act as judge in the European Bonsai New Talents Contest, and though all judges are given the same scoring sheet and rules, we usually differ in our evaluation; for instance, I consider originality over exact adherence to rules, though most other colleages are just of the opposite opinion.
Though both bonsai and suiseki share the principle of nature scene suggestion, this is of stronger importance in suiseki; and suggestion is primarily subjective.
On the other hand, evaluating criteria are intertwisted; once we are attracted by a key characteristic, we usually tend to evaluate other characteristics to reinforce our preference.
Regarding stone evaluation, I try to follow only three principles, but as strictly as I am able to:
- Evaluation is for STONES, not for owners, collectors (please, no politics and no reciprocating awards!!!)
- Suiseki are basically landscape representations; hence whether there is only an award, the best landscape is the best stone (of course I assume it is a suiseki, and not mere rocks, exhibition.
- The best stone is that I would chose to start a new collection, if all my stones are lost forever.
Second-level considerations follow such as:
- Every main category (landscape, object, abstract and surface) is to be evaluated differently; sometimes criteria also diverge among sub-categories (mountain/island, close waterfalls, coastal stones, waterpools, bridges/archs, and so on).
- Schools are to be evaluated differently: Chinese vs. Japanese; inside Chinese school, clouds/mountains are to be differentiated from inskstones and from painted stones; inside Japanese school, earth stones (Seigaku, Senbutsu, Furuya) are to be differentiated from water stones (Kamo, Seta, Saji and all other -gawa stones).
- Daiza are clearly undervalued in the proposed scoring table, but evaluation is to be performed in terms of suggestion and accomodation more than of style, as the latter may be influenced by our aestetic preferences.
- Name is very often a bridge between the exhibitor and the viewer that, when appropriated, enriches the signnificance and suggestion of the stone. I think it should be included in the scoring.
- Evaluation depends on the context: a private individual display in tokonoma leads to a different evaluation from that perceived in a public large exhibition of mere stones (with no accesory elements). In particular, when deciding a buying/picking evaluation is guided for our perception of the suggestion ability of the stone in the future, passing over flaws and defaults presently noted.
If a scoring table is to be produced, I should recomend to set at least 10 evaluation factors, and to give the same weight to each factor (0-10); streching the range for each factor reduces somewhat subjectivity, if this is possible.
Yes, I recognize I have been more qualitative/philosophical than quantitative/mathematical, but I am not capable of being more precise at this stage.
Best regards,
Jesus

qseki
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Re: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

Post  Heven on Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:40 pm

In China, people think what a viewing stone of high quality should be 5 elements of texture, color, shape, veins and meaning, it is different than traditional admiring theory for stone appreciation "crumple, lean, leak and transparence".








Heven
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Re: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

Post  Chris Cochrane on Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:42 pm

Great stone presentation on the separate fruit stone thread, Heven. Thanks for sharing it and for sharing stones judged highly in China. Would you be willing to say more about "meaning" using your illustrated stones? Is an abstract pattern considered equally, more or less artistic than a realistic one?

_________________
... visit the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Washington DC USA-- http://www.bonsai-nbf.com

Chris Cochrane
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Re: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

Post  Heven on Wed May 05, 2010 11:54 pm

Hi Chris, I think it means the content, culture of a suiseki.


Chris Cochrane wrote:Great stone presentation on the separate fruit stone thread, Heven. Thanks for sharing it and for sharing stones judged highly in China. Would you be willing to say more about "meaning" using your illustrated stones? Is an abstract pattern considered equally, more or less artistic than a realistic one?

Heven
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WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

Post  ngoquangvu06 on Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:30 am

This garden rock is on a roll ( from website http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/265416/this-garden-rock-a-roll )
By Prof. SERAPION S. METILLA
July 6, 2010, 11:19am

Never tamper with the natural features of a suiseki rock or its value will go down. (Photo by NOEL PABALATE)
Silver, gold, and diamonds are not the only precious stones that can be considered treasures. Connoisseurs of art and landscaping have discovered a new kind of precious stone, the suiseki.
Unlike diamonds, however, the suiseki is naturally-carved. It’s after all, a natural stone that features unusual markings and rare shapes that haven’t been tampered by man.
Suiseki is coined from two Japanese words, “sui” for water, and “seki” for stone. It is also derived from “sansui-seki,” meaning stone with a total landscape, scenery or depiction of an object. The latter can include animals, plants, human beings, and popular figures, among many others. Eventually, the word was shortened into what we call now as “suiseki.”
This rock is also known as the mountain stone or viewing stone. It is often used as a complimentary object for bonsai plants. Sometimes, it is the bonsai that serves as the secondary object, especially when the suiseki stone being used is considered valuable.
The art of suiseki is an allied art to bonsai, and most bonsai growers also collect these stones. As with the art of bonsai, the suiseki originated from China. It was then introduced in Japan by the Buddhist monks in the 15th century.
Today, the art of suiseki collecting has emerged into a hobby not only in Asia, but also in America, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East.
The suiseki is stationary or motionless, quiet and calm, which is a sharp contrast to the bonsai which can grow and propagate. A bonsai can also be designed by man while the suiseki’s “point of interest” has to be discovered. It is this concept or feeling that makes one appreciate this culture in which the mind imagines the beautiful things the stone has revealed.
The stone must be displayed in a manner that will enhance its features. For instance, it would be apt to fit the stone in a wooden flat stand that may be round, oval, or irregular. It depends on the stone’s shape. The bottom may be cut or ground to fit its base but one must never tamper, add or subtract the stone’s natural texture, color, or form.
Likewise, if one wishes to depict the stone as an island, he can place the stone in a shallow tray filled with water or fine white sand. But never add anything to this scenery. The philosophy is to leave it to the viewer to exercise his imagination or interpretation.
As with shopping for diamonds, suiseki collectors need to consult with experts to appraise the stone’s value and to check if it has been tampered with.
Suiseki stones are classified under three classes; first, second, or third class. First class stones can clearly represent a snow-peaked mountain, a waterfall, an animal (not fossil), and even the likeness of a famous person with prominent features. American President Abraham Lincoln, for instance, comes to mind. Second and third class stones feature hieroglyphic-like designs.
A Korean suiseki expert has listed the following considerations in evaluating a suiseki stone:
•The real jet black color is considered rare and is highly-coveted.
•As to the weight, the stone should be heavy or heavier as compared to most stones found in the area.
•The sheen, it should have a natural gloss and not enhanced by chemicals or other materials.
•Stones in other colors can also be valuable for as long as they can vividly represent an animal or object sans the addition of wood or any material. In other words, you have to leave it to the imagination of the viewers to visualize the object without any suggestion as to what is it supposed to be.
"The rock can be easily called a suiseki if nine out of 10 viewers can easily recognize the representation. If the viewers of a particular stone have many different interpretations or opinions and do not agree on a common idea, then that stone is worthless.
•Not considered as suiseki stones are gem stones like opal, jade, quarts, diamond, amethyst, topaz, ruby, emerald, and the like. So are the corrals, stalactites, stalagmites, petrified rocks, and fossils."
Should you want to see some suiseki stones, come and visit the suiseki, bonsai and other ornamental plants on exhibit at the Quezon Memorial Circle. The show runs until July 11.


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Re: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

Post  trantanhung_nt on Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:13 am

Hi HEVEN and Friends ,
Your first stone ,
I see it as ... a natural landscape... vast and poetic ...
In Viet Nam . popular is also very like this category .
Thanks yours sharing .
Regards .

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Re: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SUISEKI AND VIEWING STONE JUDGING STANDARD ?

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