Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

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Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Chris Cochrane on Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:13 pm

Jeff Amas has sent us 45 photos of the 51st Meihinten suiseki exhibition at the Meiji Shrine. The exhibition ended on Sunday, June 12. This year, he reports:
As to the watering; I went there on the Friday and the exhibition had opened the day before. When I arrived the stones were dry but someone went around watering them later when I was going back for a second look.
No stones in suiban & sand were mounted in the outside exhibit space. Jeff caught some stones at different levels of drying.

Outside suiseki exhibition area at the Meiji Shrine:


Sign leading visitors to the inside suiseki exhibition at the Meiji Shrine annex building:


Please allow me to complete the uploads before breaking the thread. It will take awhile.


Last edited by Chris Cochrane on Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:12 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : added to photo count)

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Chris Cochrane on Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:10 pm

Jeff notes that his camera was handheld & apologizes for quality. Lighting is not bright in the indoor exhibit. The images look great to me. Additionally, he notes that where the table surface or background was distracting, he edited them out. Stone numbers are noted for reference of individual images in IBC discussion, and not from the exhibition-itself.

stone #101...


stone #102...


stone #103a-- recently saturated with water...


stone #103b-- after partial drying...


stone #104...


stone #105...


stone #105 from more overhead view...


board with family mon (image #106)...


stone #107a-- recently saturated with water...


stone #107b-- after partial drying...


stone #108...


Last edited by Chris Cochrane on Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:17 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : added photo which was mistaken as a repeated image)

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Chris Cochrane on Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:14 pm

stone #109...


stone #110...


stone #111...


stone group (image #112)...


stone #113...


stone #114...


stone #115...


stone #116...

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Chris Cochrane on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:26 am

stone #117...


stone #118...


stone #119...


stone #120...


stone #121...


stone #122...


stone #123...


stone #124...

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Chris Cochrane on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:48 am

stone #125...


stone #126...


stone #127...


stone #128...


stone #129...


stone #130...


stone #133...


stone #134...

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Chris Cochrane on Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:09 am

stone #135...


stone #137...


stone #138...


stone #139...


stone #140...


stone #142...


stone #143...


stone #144...


Upload of the photo set is complete. Thanks for patiently waiting... :-)

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  sunip on Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:24 am

Hi Chris Cochrane,
Thanks for posting the pictures of Jeff Amas.
A real source for inspiration which i have to see a few times.
Surprising stones, like nr 105.
regards, Sunip Wink

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  qseki on Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:12 am

Hi Chris,

Please thank very much to Jeff for sharing his photos of Meihinten 2012. In my opinion, the subdued light enforces viewing of the stones.
From the posted photos, I guess this year exhibition has been set at a less exclusive level; of course this is not a criticism: by the opposite, it is gratifying to look at stones that are beautiful but closer to what I can expect to collect and/or get. And there were several good examples of distance level stones, a type that I particularly like very much.
Thanks again.

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Yvonne Graubaek on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:41 am

Thanks for sharing photos of this very, very nice exhibition.
Among theese high quality stones, the dragon caught my eye.

Kind regards yvonne

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:19 am

Chris, these stones are incredible! Thank you for sharing them. Does the stone #140 sit on one daiza or two separate daiza? I am trying to imagine how such a stone could endure (in the wild) without breaking; the "bridge" is so thin - amazing!
Regarding my other post of water stones, I see what you mean by the saturating (103a) and the small crab. I also see that this is displayed in a light blue suiban - my stone's color is similar to this stone I think.
Todd

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Chris Cochrane on Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:01 pm

Hi Yvonne, Jesus (qseki) & Sunip... Thanks for encouraging the post. Jeff introduced me to wild areas on the outskirts of Tokyo while I shared stone enthusiasm with him. Our favorite spot for collecting on the Tama River has been lost to construction, but Jeff keeps in touch by sharing the Meihinten. Photos from the last two Meihinten exhibits have been posted here, too, with photos from Jeff. I would recommend articles from Wil on the Meihinten available through online California Aiseki Kai newsletters, as well. Wil translated & adapted Mr. Matsuura's latest book for English readers. If you read the California Aiseki kai newsletters regularly, you should join as an online member ($10 annual membership).

Tama River in 2004:




My recollection is that the new Nippon Suiseki Association Chairman expressed openness to broad appreciation when installed last year. Potomac Viewing Stone Group was treated to a selection of stone illustrations from the last five Meihinten exhibitions in discussion led by Ponder Henley recently. Ponder chose stones both readily acceptable and those we might find unexpected due to the stone itself and/or its mounting. It was a wonderful exercise. The images Jeff has shared are similar to stones seen in the previous five shows relative to balance of expectation and surprise. We are drawn to noting surprises in order to expand vision.

In Keido/display practice as Sudo taught at his Chikufuen studio, as Takagi arranged at his Museum et al., the surprises are less obvious and expression more thin. To appreciate suiseki, it is useful to be mindful of both Meihinten stone selections & the Japanese way of display.

Hi Todd... Stone #140 (here) is among the stones certified by Nippon Suiseki Association-- stone #47 in the certification text (vol. I, Blue, 1998) series. It has two separate daiza with modestly different wall profiles and distinctly different heights of daiza feet. In the certification text, the stone is noted as 69 cm. (~ 27") in length. The stone sits on a raised, naturally-finished table which looks appropriate as a traditional writing table for placement under a window. I would recommend Jim Greaves series of articles in the California Aiseki Kai newsletters re' distinguishing "bridge" (constructed by man 'object' in nature) from "tunnel" (landscape view) stones. His description backs your immediate impression of a bridge without totally discounting the possibility of imagining a landscape view/tunnel (or 'natural desert bridge/window' stone, for Jim).

The more commonly found daiza for bridge (or wide tunnel) stones in Japan links a single daiza supporting each end of the bridging and connected by a plain horizontal floor connecting the two ends; the floor section is either of the same height as the daiza ends it connects or thinner (in height) and shallower (in depth). Were you on IBC, Todd, when Marie (from Roanoke VA) asked details about mounting these? I I am not sure if it was before or after IBC lost archives due to hackers, but you might try a search.


Last edited by Chris Cochrane on Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:15 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : repair of broken link)

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  Chris Cochrane on Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:59 pm

In regard to learning, among interesting stones for me are #105, #108, #109 and #133.

Some suiseki are especially favored which bear little resemblance to widely recognized profiles. They sometimes have striking features which are not obvious, but it is not a requirement. Some stones are appreciated because of owners and relationships to events.

I can imagine a pattern on Stone #105 suggesting a passing cloud. That weak reference heightens its reception. What surprises me & suggests that I learn more is the placement of Stone #105 on its shoku "legged stand." Is there something about the stone or its stand that requires it be placed so far back on the stand? Stones sometimes get placed originally with precision and get moved back into exhibits with less precision (e.g., after photography). If this is a conscious choice, I'd appreciate guidance.

Jeff took two photos of Stone #105. I originally left-out the second photo thinking both images identical. He must have recognized the placement would be of interest to us. THANKS, Jeff.

I am interested in Stone #108 because of possible allusions. The stone has more Chinese flavor (vertical orientation, piercing holes, thinness, abstractness) than typical Japanese suiseki taste. In Worlds Within Worlds (Mowry), we are informed that the earliest Chinese scholar rocks were not mounted in fitted seats but placed in trays crafted for other objects. Perhaps, this alludes to archaic stone appreciation. The tray is likely an object crafted for sencha tea due to its fine craftsmanship including enhancement of natural as opposed to dimensional modeling of its wall and lip. Sencha enthusiasts (especially Japanese literati) are among the early proponents of suiseki & bonsai as it broadened in appeal along with tea ceremony from feudal lord & courtier practice to a wider audience-- another historical reference. No one would douse a stone with water in this arrangement, so I would hesitate to think of the tray as a suiban. Stones placed in suiban should be be imagined as drying after wetted with water as well as actually saturated with water to appreciate slow evaporation (mizumochi) on their surface.

Whenever sharing appreciation of a suiseki or bonsai display in Keido practice as referencing a specific historical context, my teacher Mr. Sudo became very distant. This intellectualizing was not the purpose intimate alcove display. He would never say that explicitly, but repeatedly was unresponsive when I shared historical context. Reference to feelings expressed by the border guards in the Man'yoshu incurred icy silence from Sudo when he asked, "How do you feel about this (intimate alcove) display?" Allowing the atmosphere of a scene to arise & appreciating the direct, unvarnished experience/feeling is essential in Keido practice. That is a distinction which public exhibits do not express as fully as intimate display using the same principal object. I wonder of viewing this stone (and especially the stone with its tray) in a Keido lesson with carefully selected and arranged accessories.

Stone #109 is placed well-off the horizontal center of its stand leaving obvious open space toward the right. It is not typical of object placement on a stand but certainly highlights empty space by its somewhat unexpected placement. Last year, NSA director Seiji Morimae suggested a similar arrangement for a stone that I had centered on a stand. It isn't a surprise, but it opens options

Stone #133 is difficult to fully understand. If it is one stone including the seat for the figurine (as I imagine), it captures an often encountered scene very well. Though I might prefer the figure imagined rather than placed, it is not uncommon to see the more explicit placement of a figurine at the public Meihinten exhibition. Several NSA certified stones suggest this scene with a streak in the stone also suggesting the white-cloaked figure. I am especially surprised to see the daiza with explicitly carved steps leading to the cave. This recalls the top of a stepped-pyramid stand which Vietnamese member Nguyen Thai Ly shared. Its upper tier surrounded on three sides by a gallery had tiny steps leading to a pagoda on top. Nice synchronicity between the two seat carvers!

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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  sunip on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:48 pm

Hi Chris,
Some thoughts,
The stones shown at the Meihinten exhibition are all impressive.
The reason i mentioned stone nr. 105 is the surprising simplicity.
With the fine patina and the light sloping sides,
it gives me the impression of a pedestal a base but also the quality of a humble brick supporting a building.
As such it is as an altar or a gate, where the transcendent has the possibility to touche the three dimensional world.
It reminds me also of a head support, in it's nakedness it is the only place in the world where the lanoo can lay its head to rest.
Being only there to receive and support, the fine floating images on the stones sides are like the almost forgotten fruits
of the world of experiences, given up, they became the true supporting sides.
Having this in mind, stone nr. 104 looks like the footprint of the buddha, but stone nr. 105 brings it much more to life for me.

stone #105...


stone #105 from more overhead view...


stone #104...


regards, Sunip Wink

sunip
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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  sunip on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:21 am

stone #133...

Hi Chris,
Some thoughts,
In this stone i personally would prefer a more natural approach, so no figurine but an empty seat.
No interpretation but letting the transcendent be it self. Wabi Sabi
A bit the same indeed as the One Pillar Pagoda stone Nguén Tái Ly showed us.
But this is a strictly personal perception.
A natural streak or bulge in the stone suggesting a figure would be lovely like you mentioned.
However the idea of removing the figurine attracts my attention to the proportions of the whole.
The stone has the form of a pentagon which is fine as it is a symbol for the aura,
but the hight and width of the stone have the same measure, because an aura is up going, more vertical,
a lift of a daiza would be helpful i feel.
Here are those steps in place but somehow it does not work.
Normally it would be four steps followed by three, forming the seat for the transcendent,
the four steps symbolize the transformed world or person.
Maybe the seat should be lower, the daiza higher or the figurine higher?
Also a problem here is that the upper edge of the cave is in the middle of the stone.
But then, when it was my stone i would play with its proportions but in the main time i would appreciate it for what it is.
regards, Sunip;)

sunip
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Re: Meihinten 2011-- photos by Jeff Amas

Post  trantanhung_nt on Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:09 am

Hello IBC Forum ,
Hi all ,
In this page , I ' ve learned a lot here , and gave me full of fun memories ...
Thanks to everyone ( all you play rock )
Sincerely .
Hưng - Trần .

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