A Japanese word (from the Japanese characters for water "sui" and stone "seki") for a stone shaped by natural erosion. The Chinese, influenced by Taoism, originated the concept, and use their own terms, calling their stones "scholars' rocks." Some in the West refer to suiseki as "viewing stones." Suiseki is the study and enjoyment of such stones as objects of beauty. The term can refer either to the study of these stones or to the stones themselves — displayed and enjoyed in interiors, and prized as objects sitting at the boundary between art and nature. One of the key ingredients of a suiseki stone is its likeness to an object or to a landscape. To be considered a suiseki a stone's shape must be clean, it must be pleasing to the viewer, and it must stir the viewer's emotions. Suiseki typically convey a likeness either to an object or to a landscape, but are occasionally simply abstract in form. (pr. suh-EE-seck-eh)

Glossary of Art Terms. 2014.

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