A true gem. There is no other book in English that is anything like Bonsai, Kusamono, Suiseki, by Willi Benz.
In his forword to Bonsai, Kusamono, Suiseki, Mr. I Chi Su* says: “My respected friend Mr. Benz has dedicated himself entirely to the art of Bonsai and Suiseki for years… With his experience, knowledge and artistic talent in both Bonsai and Suiseki, applied with the Western analytical method to explain Eastern philosophy and culture, he has created a refreshing way of design… These concepts have elevated the art of Suiseki to even a higher level”
Will Heath, in a review that you can find at The Art of Bonsai Project, calls Bonsai, Kusamono, Suiseki the bible of display, and though it’s not the expression I might use, I certainly wouldn’t disagree.
Mr. Heath goes on to say: “As a book simply covering the proper way to display objects, this book would be a valuable reference tool, however Mr. Benz takes it to many different levels and sublevels, adding a multi-dimensional feel to the book where the reader, before they realize it, acquires vast useful knowledge on the creation or choosing of the components of the display, the reasoning behind the guidelines, as well as some very well explained principles of artistic design.”
Both Mr. I Chi Su and Will Heath have more to say about this remarkable, beautiful and unique book, but for brevity’s sake, perhaps all that needs to be said is, if you love bonsai, kusamono (companion plants) and/or suiseki (viewing stones), and are interested in how they can be displayed and viewed (alone and together) and much, much more, this book is just what you’ve been looking for.