VSANA Featured Article 专题

Articles on stone appreciation by Thomas S Elias and other authors are available from the VSANA Article Archives categorized by year. See list on the right for links to each article.

The XXI National AIAS Congress 2018, Florence, Italy


The annual convention and exhibition of the Italian Association of Suiseki Lovers (AIAS) held in October in Florence was excellent due to the venue, the defined spaces for each entry, and the quality of the stones and the displays. The exhibition was organized by the Associazione Toscana Amatori Bonsai e Suiseki club in Florence. They were able to secure the beautiful 19th century Victorian Greenhouse, Tepidarium Roster, in a park in Florence as the venue. One of the nice features of this exhibition was the amount of defined space of approximately two meters for each stone display.


Altogether, 80 stones were in competition for the awards along with three additional stone displays that were not in competition. Thirty-four landscape and twenty-one object stones dominated the exhibited while the colorful, pattern and multiple stone displays added considerable variety and interest. The stones ranged from ones that followed traditional Japanese Suiseki to some nice abstract stones that resembled Chinese viewing stones. It was good to see several nice contemporary displays of Italian stones as well. The creative matching of stones to modern style bases demonstrated the artistic creativity that exist among collectors in Italy.  Likewise, a wider range of stone types from throughout Italy was displayed. These welcomed additions to the AIAS exhibitions are evidence of a growing Italian concept for stone appreciation. Several non-Italian stones were displayed including a beautiful Shimanto River stone from Japan.

Italy has risen to become a world leader in both bonsai and viewing stones. The development of many well-informed artists and collectors over many years have led to this accomplishment. Also, there are several highly skilled wood workers who are making fine display tables and bases for use with their trees and stones. Excellent small bronze accessory items, tenpai, are being made by artists such as Andrea Terinazzi for use in displays. Other artists are making paintings for use in displays. Currently, no other European country can match the overall accomplishments of the men and women of the AIAS and the Italian Bonsai Society.

The AIAS holds an annual convention and exhibition each year in different cities throughout the country with assistance from local bonsai and Suiseki clubs. Mrs. Luciana Queirolo is the president of the AIAS; while Mrs. Simona Hirsch is the president of the Associazione Toscana Amatori Bonsaio e Suiseki, the host club for this year.

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