VSANA Library of Stone Appreciation Books

The following reviews are intended to give readers an indication of the wide range of books available, primarily on Asian stone appreciation, but also on Western stones. Additional reviews are added to this site each month. They are presented in the country where they are produced. Unfortunately, some of the books are out of print and difficult to obtain.

Malaysian Publications


Chok Shaw Chyi. Ed. 2000.

Natural Art Stone 2000.

Malaysian Stone Lover Society. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 112 pp. No ISBN. 100 RM when published.


This attractive, soft bound, exhibition catalog beautifully illustrates more than 80 viewing stones that were exhibited at The National Art Gallery (Balai Seni Lukis Negara). It is a tribute to the continuing efforts of the Malaysian Stone Lover Society to promote stone appreciation through the use of native stones. Nearly seventy of the stones are from the collections of Malaysian collectors while the remaining eighteen are from collectors from Singapore, Philippines, Korea, China, and Germany. The stones are illustrated one per page. The photography and reproduction are very good.

Since a majority of the stones in the exhibit are found in Malaysia, this publication provides readers with a thorough cross section of the stone types found in Malaysia and methods for display. Viewers will be impressed with the hard and colorful stones from Kedah state in the northern peninsular as well as some of the jet black stones from other states. Malaysia clearly has many excellent stones and a growing culture of stone appreciation.

Rating: Excellent, a good reference to learn about Malaysian stones.


National Stones Exhibition Editorial Committee. 2008.

Love Stone, Love Nature. National Stone Exhibition & Competition.

Persatuan Soka Gakkai Malaysia and the Malaysian Stove Lover Society. Kuala Lumpur. 101 pages plus advertisements. No. ISBN. No price given.

This small format, 20 x 20 cm, book is a record of the 2008 stone exhibition in Kuala Lumpur where approximately 75 stones were on display along with a few bonsai, and several works of art. The photographs are good, and provide a nice indication of the status of stone appreciation in Malaysia at this time. It is evident that Malaysian stone appreciation culture has been strongly influenced by Chinese viewing stone guidelines. There are quite a few figure stones illustrated in this work. Many of the participants in this exhibition are Chinese or Chinese Malaysian collectors.

The perfect binding and soft covers indicates that it was not intended to be a long lasting reference. Nonetheless, it shows that stone appreciation in Malaysia developed at a faster pace than in its neighboring countries.

Rating: Good, a record of stones held in Malaysian collection in 2008.



Tai Boon Wah, ed. 2010.

Malaysian ShuShi Collection.

Tai Ma Publishing Company, Ltd. Kedah. 309 pp,  ISBN: 978-962-450-875-8. 300 RMB, 600 RM when published. In slip case.

This large format volume is an excellent introduction to the stone appreciation and bonsai cultures in Malaysia. It includes an introduction to ornamental stones and bonsai, profiles of the different collectors who contributed to the book, provides a series of articles, includes photographs documenting various activities of the Malaysia Art Stone Association, and reviews various stone association in Malaysia. As a result, this book provides valuable information about the people, stones, and trees that form much of the basis for these art forms in this country. It is primarily a book about Malaysian stones.

It is a quality hard-bound volume with the sewn signatures, quality photographs, and ample information in Chinese, Malay, and English. Even the contact information (addresses and telephone numbers) of the featured collectors are provided. Chinese reading audiences will find a wealth of information in this book.

Rating: Excellent, a valuable reference for Malaysian stones



Tan Han Seng. 1998.

The 7th International Stone Exhibition in Malaysia 98.

Malaysian Stone Lover Society, Kuala Lumpur. 310 pp. No ISBN number. Price when published RM 300.

This is a grand publication resulting from one of the finest truly international stone exhibitions ever held in Asia. The Malaysian Stone Lover Association hosted an impressive exhibition from the International Stone Collection Association, a group of Asian countries, along with Germany and selected individuals from Singapore, China, and France. The result was an impressive display of 281 stones from 9 countries. This large format, 28 x 28 cm, hard-bound volume matches the high quality of the stones exhibited.

A series of welcoming letters from each of the participating countries precedes the photographs of the stones. Stones from the invited countries (Singapore, China and France) were published first, next were those from the members of the association followed by 191 Malaysian stones or 68% of the total. Only one stone is illustrated per page unless the display consisted of two or more stones. Each stone is well photographed and reproduced in this book.

Rating: Excellent, perhaps the best volume to learn about the stones in Malaysian collections.



The 11th International Natural Art-Stone Exhibition Editing Sub-Committee. 2006.

The Vivacity of Stones.

Malaysian Stone Lover Society, Kuala Lumpur. 227 pages, No ISBN. No price given.

An impressive, large format volume of the stones that were displayed at the 11th International Art-Stone Exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur from December 31, 2005 through January 3, 2006. This is a major photo album of viewing stones except for several congratulatory messages from dignitaries. There are no essays or explanatory notes, just photos of stones, one per page. The images are sharp, clear, and large so that viewers can see every detail of the stones and their bases or trays. Over two hundred stones are illustrated, 90% of which are native to Malaysia. Twenty stones from Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and China were also displayed in this exhibit. This book clearly shows the growing diversity of stones found in Malaysia.

Rating: Very Good, useful for learning about Malaysian stones.


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