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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Shanghai Culture  »  Shanghai Folk Arts and Handicrafts  »  Bamboo Carving
Bamboo Carving

China is the first country in the world to use bamboo products. So bamboo has a long history in China. Bamboo carving(竹刻) is also known as bamboo sculpture. The bamboo artifacts has a variety of decorative carving patterns and text, or bamboo root carving ornaments in a variety of furnishings, such as a Buddha, people, crab or toad which enjoys high-value.

Chinese bamboo carving is prevalent throughout the South regions. In Ming Dynasty, bamboo art has reached its heyday and it developed into two distinctive schools, Nanjing bamboo faction which is represented by the "Jinling School" and Shanghai Jiading bamboo faction whichis represented by the "Jiading faction." In Ming and Qing Dynasty, Shanghai Jiading has become the center of the southern bamboo art. Jiading faction is founded by the Zhu Songlin in Ming Dynasty. He is a man good at poetry and painting and he was also interested in bamboo carving art.

Bamboo carving is a specialized art which is unique to China. Because it is not easy to keep, bamboo carving crafts are rarely found in archaeological excavations. The historic Bamboo carving art became a specialized art in the mid-Ming Dynasty.

In Ming and Qing dynasties, China's growing prosperity animated Bamboo carving craft. Bamboo carving was prospered in southern region where abounds in bamboo, and there was the emergence of Shanghai Jiading and Jiangsu Jinling factions. Artists from both Bamboo carving factions use bamboo root to engrave figures. They also engrave in the bamboo pen, fan bones and so on. Some craftsmen also make good use of the skin in different textures to create a "stay green" special artistic effects. Jinling faction is headed by the Pu Zhongqian and this faction Bamboo carving style began simple, after engraving, it becomes fine. Jiading Bamboo carving faction has bigger impact. Most of the craftsmen are good at painting. They use a knife as a pen knife, suit both refined and popular tastes.

Since the Zhengde and Jiajing Period in Ming Dynasty, bamboo carving art developed very rapidly. There are some outstanding artists emerge in every period. At that time, most talented craftsmen are concentrated in Jiangsu Jiading and Jinling area. So some people put these classic works produced by different craftsmen according to the division of carving techniques and style characteristics genre. So there is Jiading faction. Jiading faction production centers mainly in Jiangsu Jiading (Shanghai Jiading District now). The work can exhibit rich picture level and three-dimensional effect, and therefore plays an extremely important role in the history of Chinese bamboo carving. Jiading faction’s earliest founder is Zhu He. In Jiading Bamboo carving art, Zhu He, Zhu Ying, Zhu Zhizheng are three generations of the most famous Jiading faction craftsmen, known as the “Three Zhu of Jiading ". Of all the Jiading bamboo faction, due to the different times, the arts and cultural literacy are not the same, so different famous works have their own personality and characteristics.

As a unique process in ancient China, and the use of Bamboo carving as a result of the author's favorite, bring it to market. Scholars began to pursue it not for sale, but for their appreciation and playing. But writers are a benchmark of society, due to the push of literati, there is the pursuit of social common people and the market. On the subject, either landscapes, flowers, birds, fish or insects, mostly sustenance reflect the feelings of literati. Scholars pay attention to the mood, so the phenomenon that a lot of mood are related Chinese bamboo painting is very similar. Due to the success of bamboo art, bamboo carving has a profound impact on the carved ivory, rhino horn, rosewood, boxwood these precious materials. They have a tendency to imitation bamboo.

Because of its limitations, especially their number is much less than the fine paintings, bamboo carving art has high collection value. There are bamboo carving masterpiece collection of Ming and Qing Dynasties in Museum in Beijing, Taipei National Palace Museum, and Shanghai Museum. The Ming and Qing bamboo carving has formed a collection craze in Hong Kong and Taiwan and overseas markets after the 1980s, which then affects the market development to the mainland Chinese collection market. After the Bamboo carving art going to the market, a large Bamboo carving art auction repeatedly hit record high auction at home and abroad.



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