In addition to the Bonsai exhibition at the Bonsai Clubs International Convention (BCI) there was the Asia-Pacific Bonsai and Viewing Stone convention and exhibition which was held in the Science Hall in Guangzhou in China. There was a stunning collection of viewing stones of all shapes, sizes and colours and it was beautiful.
The culture of stone viewing is an integral component of stone culture and mainly focuses on the appreciation of natural stones. China is the place of origin for Oriental stone-viewing culture and has a long history of natural stone appreciation dating back over 3,000 years. Various approaches to stone-viewing have emerges and among them is the Lingnan School which has a unique style and cultural esssence.
There is a lot more to stones than first though and Ying stone also named Yingde stone is a well known and recognised viewing stone in China. It is referred to as one of the most famous stones in China owing to its ornamental and collectible value. wax stone is also a very popular stone and its name comes from both having a waxy surface texture as well as the colour. Another stone of note includes Malachite which is a member of the Jade family and is often referred to as the ‘Green Blue’ or ‘Stone Green’ or even ‘Blue Rongkol’.
As part of the viewing stone exhibition there were Bonsai positioned to enhance the viewing stones displayed and this style is very traditionally Chinese in design.
Also included within the convention were field trips, the two-day field trips divided the convention attendees as you could either go on the two-day bonsai tour; or the two-day viewing stone tour. We chose the bonsai tour but heard that the viewing stone trip was excellent too, it included a visit to a tea factory, thank you to Nigel & Sue for the Chinese Black Tea take away!
It was a beautiful exhibition in a very clean and crisp setting which set the viewing stones off so well that you could see all the colours and really get to understand the visual interpretation of what some of the stones represented. The wood carving stands underneath and surrounding some of the viewing stones was also superb.