In 2010, my wife and I took a month-long trip touring South China on our own. We started in Hong Kong and ended in Shanghai. We saw a lot of penjing and viewing stones, and I will share their photos in a series of travel blogs, starting with the Nan Lian Garden (南莲园池) in Hong Kong.
Nan Lian Garden is a gem where one can still enjoy tranquility in this bustling city. It is a public park, built in the style of a Tang dynasty garden and modeled after a 1,300 years old garden, Jiang Shouju Yuan (绛守居园池) , in Shanxi, China. It occupies 3.5 hectares, and is landscaped with hills, rocks, lakes, plants and Tang style Chinese wooden architecture. There are several exhibits in the garden. I will highlight their Lingnan penjing collection, the Dahua Viewing Stone Museum, and take you through a walk in the garden which has very impressive Pordacarpus trees.
The University of Florida‘s Harn Museum of Art at Gainesville is a small museum with wings dedicated to African, American and Asian arts and traveling exhibits. I visited this museum in 2009 and in 2013 when my younger son was doing his graduate study at UF. I was surprised to see several high quality antique Chinese scholar’s rocks (Gongshi, 供石) displayed in their Cofrin Asian Art Wing.
A group of Chinese scholar’s rocks in the new Cofrin Asian Art Wing. The background is a Japanese garden.
Viewing stone and suiseki enthusiasts may be familiar with Chinese Yellow Wax stones（黄蜡石）, a type of yellow to brownish yellow hard stone with wax-like, lustrous surface textures. These stones are also found in several South East Asian countries. To learn more about Yellow Wax stone, see Tom Elias‘s excellent article on the subject in 2011 Q4 issue of the BCI magazine.
The followings are Malaysian Yellow Wax stones from my collection and from my best friend, David Goh’s collection, in Penang, Malaysia. David and I have been friends for over forty years. Malaysian Yellow Wax stones are found in the state of Kedah, and are called Kedah Yellow Wax Stones （吉打黄蜡石）. Their main composition is quartzite, the yellow color varies depending on the amount of iron oxide impurities in the quartz.