As we continue to study the aesthetic of various countries and how they display stones, we are reading a number of books that give us insight into how particular areas of the world view art and stone viewing in particular.  Here are a couple if you have interest:

  • ›Izutsu, Toshihiko and Toyo, 1981, The Theory of Beauty in the Classical Aesthetics of Japan, The Hague, Boston, London: Nijhoff.
  • ›Tanizaki, Jun’ichirō, 1977, In Praise of Shadows, trans. Thomas J. Harper and Edward G. Seidensticker, New Haven: Leete’s Island Books.

In our own stone collecting, purchased or personally collected from a stream or river, we tend to be drawn to stones that attract our heart and eye.   There are just certain shapes and colors that draw us in.  In continuing to research these various aesthetics, we came across the stone and bronze sculptor Kan Yasuda from Japan.  We were drawn to his work as it reminds us of many viewing stones we have seen.


“Kan Yasuda was born in the city of Bibai on Japan’s nothern island Hokkaido in 1945. He received a master’s degree in sculpture from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1969. He moved to Italy in 1970 on a fellowship from the Italian Government and studied with Professor Pericle Fazzini at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. Afterwards he set up his studio at Pietrasanta in nothern Italy, world famous for its superior quality marble. There he continues to live and work at marble and bronze sculptures”


We were immediately drawn to the form and color of his works.  Christie’s in New York is holding an exhibition of his work entitled Touching Time being held from February 24 through March 26, 2016.

There is wonderful video of him describing his work which can be viewed here. “In this film, Yasuda talks of wanting ‘to express in a subtle way something of our relationship to the earth that is crying out in pain’, a feeling he articulates in the plinth he made for ISHINKI for the New York exhibition.”


TENPI, Arte Piazza Bibai, Kan Yasuda Sculpture Park,
Hokkaido, Japan. Photographer Yoshihiro Kimura

This sculpture is reminiscent of some of the finest suiseki we have seen from Japan both beautiful form and color.  We view this and instinctively sense tranquility and quietness; attributes we love to have in stones in our personal collection.


A lovely setting in a park with a white marble sculpture that reminds us of so many river stones that we have seen in various other colors.


A similar shaped stone sculpture in a darker color  The form is very pleasing and reminds me of a suiseki stone in the book Suiseki. An Art Created by Nature.  The Nyogakuan Collection of Japanese Viewing Stones.  2005.


Kan working in his study and his art being displayed with children playing on and around it.  That his sculptures can be touched rather than just seen is quite appealing.


This sculpture was accomplished in bronze.  A pleasing form in both smooth and rough textures.  It reminds us of a stone that might be seen in a suiban display.

It is difficult to comprehend the complexity in creating these sculptural forms.  Kan states that he creates with the intent of these lasting for 500 to 1,000 years.  Perhaps this also gives us insight into the complexity of his mind that can devise such a pleasingly simple visual design in such scale.

To see more of his works, please visit his website.


ISHINKI, White Marble, H 116 x 320 x 220 cm
White Bronze, H 200×90×30 cm


White Marble H 59 x 87 x 23 cm, wood base H 95 x 100 x 40 cm