22 x 22 x 18 cm
8.7 x 8.7 x 7.1 inches
During a walk through the Yuyuan garden in Shanghai, a marvellous garden constructed by a government officer for his parents along the border of the Huangpu River, the perforated, irregular rocks grabbed the attention of sculptor Nick Ervinck. There is a strange sense of contemplation, of wisdom, captured in these intricate and ancient shapes. Although born from the power of nature, these rocks seem to escape their natural origin.
These rocks are known as Gongshi or spirit stones in Chinese tradition. The irregularities in the rocks are believed to be an externalisation of qi energy, a vital, spiritual force that is part of all that exists. Through these rocks, and nature in general, scholars reflected on their own morals, virtues and beliefs. The balance and harmony between people and nature was highly valued in Chinese philosophy.