“Richard Sang Collection“ a Unique Collection in Haßloch
As of now, Germany’s only permanent exhibition of Suiseki-stones is on display at the Kulturviereck in Haßloch. Richard Sang, an entrepreneur from Haßloch, bequeathed the stones to the commune prior to his death. Sang, who died in 2006, enthusiastically collected so-called Gongshi-Suiseki-stones. This kind of stones is shaped by erosion or eluviation and is not processed by humans. Richard Sang first became interested in the stones when he visited a Bonsai-exhibition in 1994. It was not long after that until the first stone moved into the Sangs’ home. Sang’s nephew Thomas Stumpf recalls that from this enthusiasm grew passion, and many more specimen were added to the collection over the years, until there were about 130 stones in total. In 2005, shortly before he died, Sang bequeathed the stones to the town of Haßloch through an endowment certificate. He then also wished for them to be exhibited in the Kulturviereck, which was not yet built at the time.
The Kulturviereck was opened in November 2011. At first, the stones remained with Richard Sangs wife. For her, they represented a wonderful memory of her husband’s passion for collecting them. When Sang’s wife died in 2016, the ownership of the stones was passed on to the commune, which then had to master the challenge of presenting them according to Richard Sang’s conception. Not only was it necessary to design an exhibition room at the Kulturviereck, but also to find someone who was familiar with this kind of art and could take care of the exhibition.
In 2017, Rudi Ritter showed his interest in the Suiseki-collection and agreed to implement the ideas that were declared in the endowment certificate. The designated exhibition room was then measured and a blueprint of the showcases and tables was created. The room was set up accordingly, the showcases were built and the stones were dusted and positioned as previously planned.
On August 25, 2018, the exhibition was eventually celebrated with select guests. Lothar Lorch, mayor of Haßloch, enunciated his pride of finally being able to present the collection to the public after months of planning and hard work. He thanked Rudi Ritter for his voluntary commitment. With his leadership, the help of the commune, the company Duttenhöfer as well as further helping hands, it was possible to create an exhibition that is unique in Germany, elaborated Lorch. Gudrun Benz from the German Suiseki Community also confirmed that there is no other permanent exhibition of Suiseki-stones in Germany.
The exhibition represents a niche in the realm of arts. Nevertheless, whoever takes their time to examine it will most likely be able to understand why Richard Sang deemed these stones so fascinating. Therefore, everyone who is interested is invited to get an idea of the “Richard Sang Collection” at the Kulturviereck in Haßloch. The exhibition is mostly set up to be self-explanatory, however, leaflets with more details concerning the collection can be acquired for the price of 10€.
Opening hours and tours for groups or classes:
Open from February to December on every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month from 14.30 to 17.00. Entrance is free. Tours for groups or classes can also be booked outside of the opening hours. Appointments can be arranged via 06324 935 225.