Bamboo carving, straw weaving typifies Jiading art culture at CIIE

Qian Tong
Examples of district's centuries-old artistic skills attracted visitors in the intangible cultural heritage hall of exhibition areas.
Qian Tong

Bamboo carving and straw weaving from Jiading District made their debut on the sidelines of the 4th China International Import Expo, showing a cultural tradition of the district for visitors from home and abroad.

It's the fourth year in a row for Jiading to show its intangible cultural heritages at the expo, allowing more people to get to know the local culture.

The skills from Jiading, including the straw weaving and bamboo carving, attracted visitors in the intangible cultural heritage hall of the exhibition.

Bamboo has been deeply rooted in Chinese culture and philosophy for thousands of years. Ancient literati designated bamboo as one of the "four gentlemen" along with plum, orchid and chrysanthemum, which stand for the qualities of being a genteel man: proud, pure, firm and quiet.

Jiading bamboo carving was initiated by three generations of the Zhu family – Zhu He (pseudonym Songlin), Zhu Ying (pseudonym Xiaosong) and Zhu Zhizheng (pseudonym Sansong) – in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Jiading bamboo carving has attracted much attention over hundreds of years for its techniques, design and, more importantly, literati spirit embedded in the ensuing products. Most bamboo-carving artists were scholars who incorporated various art forms such as calligraphy, literature, painting and seal-cutting.

Influenced by Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, scholars expressed their yearning for a peaceful and pastoral life through bamboo carving.

Therefore, themes like the seven sages of the bamboo grove in the Wei (AD 213-266) and Jin (AD 266-420) dynasties and "Orchid Pavilion Gathering," a famous calligraphy work by master Wang Xizhi (AD 303-361), are common.

A Qing Dynasty furnishing article featuring Liu Hai and the three-legged toad is carved from bamboo root.

Armrests, paperweights, brush holders, writing-brush washers, incense burners and stamps – many bamboo-carving artworks functioned as stationery accessories and ornaments featuring historical personages, deities, novels and landscape.

Straw weaving artworks from Wang Qin and her colleagues were another attraction from Jiading at the expo.

"Straw weaving is an art has human touch. We prepared our best works for visitors from home and abroad to feel the charm of the intangible cultural heritage," Wang said.

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