The Era of Oriental Influence


During the Era of Oriental Influence, we see an abrupt shift in Zymoglyphic art. Instead of the highly complex arrangements of the dioramas, there is a return to simple arrangements of dried fruit, rocks, and sticks. This trend reaches its extreme in the art of "viewing stones", which consists simply of selecting and positioning a small natural object which is worthy of contemplation, then putting it on a stand.

Curator's note: The outdated term "oriental" in the name of this era has been retained for historical reasons. It refers to an attitude during the Age of Wonder which was partly a genuine appreciation of nature-based Asian art forms, but also a more problematic fascination with the exoticness of Asian cultures and a sometimes cavalier appropriation of artifacts. Curiosity cabinets in the Age of Wonder, for example, often included objects from cultures seen as exotic.

The main collection

Miniature Viewing Stones

Curio collection

Miniature Trees

A simple arrangement based on a dried orange

A fossil egg that is actually a moon snail hatching out of a clam shell. It is an ancient mythic act, frozen in time

A traditional dried fruit and vegetable arrangement, this one based based on an orange and a carrot

A traditional viewing stone. It is known as the "bone of the earth."

A traditional viewing stone. The clear parts are windows into the soul of the stone.

A marine arrangment, made from items produced by the sea.

A cut piece of bubble plant, native to the Zymoglyphic region, in a simple arrangement.

The happy monk has the world on a string. It is actually an inflatable universe - he carries a supply of them in his bag.

A tray landscape, illustrating the legend of the "crazy houses.". Tray landscapes are a transitional art form midway between the simple objects and the more elaborate dioramas.

This is a Zymoglyphic collection of curios as might have been seen during the Era of Oriental Influence

Top row: Landscape rock, shelter rock
Middle row: Hindu figure, agate, Hindu figure (Ganesh), miniature tree
Bottom row: Malachite, miniature tree
Bottom: Left and right handed fiddler crabs