Photograph taken at the Oregon Asian Celebration on 16 February 2014. This sweet little rock hound was so excited that she even put down her stuffed toy to hold the mountain in her hand, and this is what makes our exhibitions all so worthwhile!

(Dear mom, if you see this, please email us at haikubyanya@gmail.com with her name and address so we can send a copy of this photo)

                             |水石   Suiseki

View our gallery to see examples of Suiseki (sui = water, seki = stone.) Suiseki is a sophisticated and very refined art form that dates back to 1000 AD; it is an indepth study and a personal quest for naturally formed stones as objects of art. Suiseki involves the collection, preparation and appreciation of unaltered naturally formed stones.These art treasures are discovered in riverbeds, creeks and streams, on windswept deserts, forest floors, along ocean beaches, and anywhere that nature may have shaped and left them. 

Japanese Suiseki is a delicate and traditional art form which represents even more than art—it also represents a process, a feeling, a relationship between the object and the viewer. These sensuous and meaningful stones, are often only several inches long up to 12 inches. Larger stones are considered garden rocks. Created by wind, rain and the passing of time, these amazing microcosms of our world suggest shapes and designs that remind us of everyday natural objects. When displayed on specially designed carved wood stands called daiza, or in trays (filled with sand representative of water) called suiban or doban, they become a fine work of art and are truly a great spiritual inspiration to whomever views them. 

These priceless Suiseki displayed in our gallery are in native sand and/or water from whence they came out of Oregon's Willamette River. They are understated, uncut stones that belong to haiku and tanka poet an’ya.) These river stones follow formal Japanese tradition, as does an'ya's haiku, (albeit and with respect), she has combined these two art forms in a more non-traditional and informal manner of Suiseki inspired by haiku, thus let it be known to each viewer, to feel free to find their very own and possibly quite different interpretations. 

Several of these river stones were exhibited in June, 2011 at the Liberty Theater Gallery for "Bend Haiku Weekend" and the downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk, In 2012 others of them were displayed at the Emerald Art Center Gallery in Springfield, Oregon for an'ya's Japanese mixed-media Exhibit at the Second Friday Art Walk and for the entire month of June. In 2013, her suiseki were exhibited at the gallery for the Eugene, Oregon Asian Celebration. They were all found in our eco-rich State of Oregon, and represent but a small part of her larger Suiseki collection.               

Suiseki Oregon

Oregon is a bountiful green state with a multitude of rivers and tributaries, where there exists a 
small exclusive club of collectors (two out of six) who have presented their stones to the public at art galleries (in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) throughout this state. Collectively, we believe that suiseki as an integral part of art, presents the cathartic spirit of Japanese aesthetics 
via shapes sculpted by and found in the natural world. Allowing oneself to be “one with nature” through viewing a rock, while experiencing not the collector’s creativity, rather an artist’s reawakening. A way to view life, enjoy its nuances, seek the moment, stay in that moment; to embrace the whole universe through something as small and simple as a stone. We feel that 
if viewers are granted access to the individual unconscious practice of active imagination, this 
transformation of egotistic to ego-less will facilitate inner peace, and a desire to return again and again to each stone. 

Whenever possible although sometimes not, our showings are on low tables rather than the standard height folding tables, and zabuton on tatami mats are provided for sitting or kneeling on, which encourages people to stop long enough and thoroughly contemplate the presentation. Have you ever been to a vet who sits on the floor with your dog and the dog always becomes that vet’s very best friend instead of your best friend! We use this same principle for displaying, as influence must be able to directly enter the most impermeable spirit, after the manner in which, over time, the river water penetrates a stone. After the experience of viewing suiseki in depth, it is our belief that people will depart, taking up their old way of life, detaching themselves completely from that which has 
given them a new birth, so to speak; but bearing within themselves the concept of mono no aware, which has implanted itself without their will, and by which shall by slow degrees, develop itself in the form of a desire to pick up their first stone. 

Other ways of thinking might call such presentation impulsive, but we feel in order to pass on 
this time-honored genre in a way complete enough to exercise its benevolent effect over others, that it may be possible to suggest the yugen able to call men back from the realm of mundane; we believe it is indisputable that this altruism must be presented as it radiates from our innermost artistic souls, like the Japanese style mist that rises from any Oregon river on any given morning. 

(Published in the California Aiseki Kai Newsletter Volume 31, Issue 10 October 2013

Subpages (1): Suiseki Gallery