Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Penjing market in Suzhou

I already mentioned visiting Suzhou in one of the posts last year. This post is about a street market specialising in selling penjing, flowers, rocks, ceramics, birds, fish and other objects associated with the traditional Chinese scholarship and connoisseurship. The market is a mixture of shops and street stalls (see images below). Being a non-Chinese language speaker made it harder for me to find it. Centre images below show the names of two streets. The market starts at their intersection. Saying these names to a local may not work, so it’s better to show.

The main object of my interest was penjing. There were enough trees on sale, but I got an impression that winter is not the best time to see penjing here. The emphasis was on pines and winter flowering deciduous trees (see images below).

The most impressive aspect of the market was rocks. Suiseki, viewing stones, Chinese scholar rocks whatever you want to call them. They ranged from fist size to a full height of a person, and I can tell you that one could fine treasures in every size category (see images below).

When I set out for the market, I was determined to buy a small or medium size bonsai pot as a memento, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. On one hand, there were a lot of cheap pots which would be worth taking to Australia. On the other hand, there were very fine quality pots which were prohibitively expensive. There was nothing in between, hence I left empty handed. Below are some photos of the bonsai pot stalls. 

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