Man and nature – pervasive pattern

Mountains, rocks and moral patterns

Desktop rocks are moral gyroscopes, proposing alignment with the underlying currents of the world. This was so much the case that literati might travel with smaller rocks in bespoke boxes, using them to give familiarity and sense to temporary abodes.

The interest in this particular rock lies in its spectacular cantilevering. It appears to spring into the air from a fragile and open nest. Lifted from the base, it is dense and heavy, sharp to the touch, a veritable weapon. (This stone was recently photographed by Caroline CHIU as part of her series on objects for a Chinese 'wunderkammer.')


 Traveling rock
Contemporary, Shanghai
Private collection