The Delicate Ishi-Hana

Rock's Portrait by Kokei Mikuni

Rock Balancing,一種以石頭創作的藝術。大小不一、未經修飾的石材,僅依靠一個支點,層層疊起,過程中需要無比的專注力。這種藝術在日本有一個獨特的名字——石花,石頭綻放的花朵,而創作石花的,則被稱為石花師。


石花藝術顯現出來的不安與安穩,矛盾而美麗,卻稍縱即逝,尤其是三國古溪的作品,於大自然之中,無法收藏,隨時便會倒下。因此每次在自然裡完成創作,三國古溪都會為它拍下照片,並這些照片取名為「Rock’s Portrait」。在他的網站內,除了Rock’s Portrait外,也能看到創作過程的紀錄。

Rock balancing is an art of rocks in which uncarved stones of various sizes and shapes are stacked up by adjusting the balancing points. The process requires an immense amount of concentration and discipline. This craft of rocks has a unique Japanese name — ishi-hana — which literally means flowers that bloomed from stones. People who create ishi-hana are the ishi-hana masters.

Unlike most of the Japanese ishi-hana masters who have a habit of collecting stones, Kokei Mikuni prefers to walk into rivers and streams, or to hike up to the mountains to create his ishi-hana by picking up whatever stones he finds in the nature. Surrounded by the natural breeze, accompanied by the soothing sound of water flowing and insects buzzing, he dedicatedly focuses his mind on the pieces of stone in his hand. He sniffs the natural and subtle fragrance of earth and sea water, and uses his hands to carefully examine each piece of stone and look for its best balance point. Every creation of ishi-hana is a new challenge to Mikuni: he sometimes experiments with unconventional angle of balancing to create a sense of instability in his ishi-hana; sometimes he chooses to work during rainy days to experience the challenge of working with adverse weather.

The seemingly contradicting sense of vulnerability and tranquillity expressed by ishi-hana is the truly uncapturable beauty of this art form. Situating in the ever-changing nature, Kokei Mikuni’s creations are uncollectable and temporary. Knowing his works will not stay, Mikuni does a photo documentation of every of his creation. He named his online album “Rock’s Portrait”, in which he shares his delicate works, as well as his process of creation.