Learn about Scholars’ Rocks: Introduction | Types | Books | Essays | Museums


In China, Chinese Scholars’ Rocks or Spirit Stones are called¬†Gongshi. Historically¬†Gongshi has been appreciated by Chinese connoisseurs for more than a thousand years. As early as the Tang dynasty (618-907AD), scholar-officials and persons of refined tastes began appreciating Scholars’ Rock’s unusual forms by placing in their studios for indoor viewing smaller sized rare rocks formerly used in outdoor gardens. It was said that a garden could not be beautiful without such rare rocks, and that a studio lacked elegance without gongshi. They were also presented as tribute objects to emperors and were transported to Japan and Korea. We are happy to present this website as an introduction and continuation of the appreciation of this natural art-form.

The contents of this introduction section including Essays on Scholars’ Rocks, Types of Scholars’ Rocks and How to Judge a Rock are taken from Kemin Hu‘s first book on Chinese Scholars’ Rocks: The Spirit of Gongshi: Chinese Scholar’s Rocks