The art of Jiading bamboo carvers

Yu Hong
Some 120 bamboo carving artworks are on display in Jiading. Jiading bamboo carving integrated multiple artistic forms, giving new life to bamboo. 
Yu Hong
The art of Jiading bamboo carvers
Ti Gong

Jiading bamboo carving can be traced back to over 500 years ago and a good number of bamboo carving craftsmen flourished in Jiading. They integrated multiple artistic forms, including calligraphy, painting, poetry, prose and painting, giving new life to bamboo.

If you are a bamboo carving art amateur, then a large-scale bamboo carving exhibition that includes some 120 artworks from 28 folk collectors will be for you. Collectors from Taiwan and Hong Kong have brought their most precious bamboo carving artworks to Jiading.

Jiading bamboo carving has been featured several times over the past few years, with seminars held and publications issued. But the previous exhibitions displayed museum collections. This time, more folk collections are taking part, giving a wider and thorough understanding on the artistic achievements of Jiading bamboo carvers.

Jiading bamboo carving incorporates over 10 basic techniques, including light carving, deep carving, bas-relief, high-relief, transparent relief and round engraving, which displays the distinct regionalism and originality of the art.

The most popular bamboo carving articles are brush holders with different patterns. One brush holder depicts Guo Ziyi, a politician in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) who returned to his hometown after a victory. A variety of figures carved with various expressions are vivid, some looking excited and some looking upset. It was made by renowned bamboo carving master Gu Jue who was also a Jiading native during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

A poem is carved on another popular brush holder which is from the collection of Wang Weilun. The Chinese characters carved on the bamboo are clear and vigorous. “Thanks to this platform gathering these bamboo carving articles together, it is definitely a golden chance to communicate with other collectors and participate in more activities,” Wang said.

Due to the seasoned carving techniques by skilful craftsmen, Jiading bamboo carving was listed as the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage in 2006. 

“We specifically come here observing these bamboo carving relics. The museum layouts every part meticulously and I am so excited to see this exhibition,” said a visitor from Guangzhou surnamed Fu.

The museum published a book, “Jiading Bamboo Carving Collection of Ming and Qing Dynasties,” with the latest information on the art. Also, famous bamboo carving researchers, Jiading bamboo carving artists and collectors from home and abroad will give free lectures on bamboo carving knowledge every Saturday.

Admission: Free

Date: Through June 17

Venue: Jiading Bamboo Carving Museum

Address: 321 Nandajie Street


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