If you’re looking for a unique way to rock your world, you’re in luck: Washington, D.C. is currently housing a special exhibit of Chinese rocks!
The U.S. National Arboretum has a gongshi exhibit currently on display.
Gongshi, known as Chinese scholars’ rocks or spirit stones, is an art dating back to ancient China. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, gongshi refers to rocks and stones that have been naturally shaped through erosion and nature, though sometimes they have been “enhanced” by humans, which are traditionally revered by Chinese scholars and intellectuals.
A small selection from “Cultivated Stones: Chinese Scholars’ Rocks from the Kemin Hu Collection” are on display at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum within the National Arboretum.
Now, visitors can also opt to purchase a coffee table book of the same name—written by Dr. Phillip E. Bloom, curated by Kathleen Emerson-Dell, and with photography by Stephen Voss—for more information behind the exhibit, individual stones, and the history of gongshi.
The exhibit will be on display through the end of 2023.
For more information, visit National Arboretum website.