Monday, January 29, 2018

Scholar Stones

Impression of Shengshan 2, 2015
by Zhao Meng

I've always liked scholar's stones. Now, I've just purchased the sculpture pictured above, inspired by them. It's about ten inches from end to end. It's my biggest art purchase ever. Here's the back story.

I was looking at collections of photos of scholar's stones and related sculpture, such as this batch, and I liked one in particular:

I would have purchased a copy, but there are none. It's one of a kind, in a private collection, and not for sale. But the sculptor, Zhou Meng, has done other similar pieces. Rasti Chinese Art in Hong Kong sells his work. The piece I bought is one of the cheapest available.

I am generally pleased with my purchase, but there were several annoyances along the way. Mr. Rasti always responds to email, but, of course, there is a long delay in correspondence due to time zone differences. His prices are negotiable, but I hate haggling, and I'm not good at it, and I almost certainly overpaid. Worse, the only payment method he accepts is an international wire transfer, which is slow, expensive, and must be done in person at a bank. (He did cover the fee.) The shipment was held up at Customs for several days; no one knows why.

Finally, the work has some streaks, spots, and discolorations:

Rasti says, "The discolouration is deliberate to make the sculpture more natural. It actually gives depth to the rocks," but I prefer it clean and white (as in the photograph I based my purchase on!). Some of the marks do come off, and I am working on that.

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