A LITTLE ABOUT OUR MISSION
Throughout the history of our sometimes violent and often chaotic world, humans have often been cavalier about our art treasures, whether natural or manmade. The ravages of warfare, religious biases, differences in philosophy, political arguments—all of these have contributed to the loss of irretrievable amounts of art. At its worst, all vestiges of information about the art form are gone. Some peripheral references might be found in obscure places, but we can only speculate about the extent of loss to culture and art appreciation. In a slightly better case, enough remnants remain that the world may at least know something existed at one time. Best of all such deplorable situations, however, is when some few examples are found and a viable source remains for re-initiation into the world. The latter is the case for the amazing natural art called Dali Dreamstones. However, some color palettes may no longer be available because many quarries are extensively diminished and several other quarries are being closed. Thus, Dali Dreamstones will become rarer and several types will become completely unavailable.
Dali Dreamstones are unique pieces of stone, primarily marble, that are removed mainly from Cangshan Mountain in Yunnan Province, China. Although marble is certainly highly prized for utilitarian uses, Dreamstones are revered for their captivating imagery. Their extraordinary character led to their being highly valued by ancient emperors, scholars, major religious figures, intellectuals, and the Chinese people for at least two millennia. During that period of recorded history, these two-dimensional marbles were the epitome of art and were venerated for their incredible depictions of the three-dimensional world, for their colors, their beauty, and their symbolism. Yet, Dreamstones were nearly lost to the annals of history. To mitigate that loss and return Dreamstones to the recognition that they deserve, the International Dali Dreamstone Association (I.D.D.A.) was formed. Its mandate is to promote, preserve, protect, revive, educate, and advocate for this unique art form. The I.D.D.A. is a non-profit confederation of experts who came together to reintroduce Dreamstones to the Chinese people as well as to the Western world. That advocacy takes many forms.
The I.D.D.A seeks a voice for the stone masters who cleave these incredible pieces of art from blocks of stone. Their remarkable skills deserve recognition and appreciation. The art form also deserves recognition and appreciation on the world’s art scene.
The I.D.D.A bemoans the loss of the Dreamstone history during the 20th-century’s chaos in China. The I.D.D.A seeks to ensure that future generations have access to and information about this art form and those involved with it.
The I.D.D.A provides oversight for and protection of the art form itself. Purchasers of Dali Dreamstones need assurance of a standardized frame of reference in order to make informed judgments about the integrity, merit, and commercial value of Dreamstones. Therefore, the IDDA will provide the educational framework, testing methods, and knowledge database to train Dreamstone appraisers. Impartial subject-matter experts will then certify those who successfully complete the I.D.D.A's preparation program and pass the qualifying certification test. The I.D.D.A's frame of reference for evaluating appraisers also can help sister organizations establish consistent standards. The I.D.D.A further seeks to ensure that the Dreamstone providers are appropriately reinbursed for their labors.
Dreamstones are more than simply art. They are an integral part of Chinese history, culture, and philosophical outlook. Along with reintroduction of the marbles the to Chinese people and to the Western world, the I.D.D.A intends to share and document as much of Dreamstone history as can be reconstructed so that future generations retain that knowledge.
The I.D.D.A seeks to establish methods for standardizing information about the Dreamstones and to set up record-keeping procedures. The goal is to accommodate research, academic studies, and aesthetic study of this art form.
The I.D.D.A can be the international voice for sister organizations that are making an effort to promote Dreamstones within China. The I.D.D.A will advocate for Dali Dreamstones through such media as publications, articles, exhibitions, and public speaking opportunities. The recent revival of the Dreamstone art form is now being celebrated in China by local, regional, or national venues for competition. Those judged most meritorious under rigorous standards often are awarded prizes, and articles might be written lauding their beauty. The I.D.D.A interacts informally with such competitions to encourage more visibility for Dali Dreamstones. And, just as the I.D.D.A retains an informal relationship with China’s internal marble competitions, so too does the I.D.D.A interact with separate sister organizations that are springing up. The I.D.D.A lauds their efforts on behalf of Dreamstones, coordinates loosely with them, and encourages their efforts without intervening directly. Dali Dreamstones merit the regard and appreciation of today’s world. The I.D.D.A seeks to help ensure that Dreamstones are seen, appreciated, properly evaluated, and recognized as the extraordinary and unique art form that they are. The I.D.D.A is proud to represent and support this fine art form and gift to the world.