Sunday, January 6, 2008

Introduction to Chinese Seal Carving (3)

The flourishing of seal carving by esteemed scholars brought Chinese seal carving into a new ear. Given the artistic standards of seal carving of the Qin and Han Dynasties, some scholars widely used the stone for seal carving to express their feelings and thinkings from the Ming Dynasty. Accordingly, a new technique of expression took shape. Meanwhile, different schools of seal carving were founded throughout the county. Wen Peng (Chinese: 文彭), He Zheng (Chinese: 何震), Zhu Jian (Chinese: 朱簡) and Wang Guan (Chinese: 汪關), accomplished masters of seal carving in the Ming Dynasty, represented the highest level of then seal carving.

Baiyun Feng Zhu, Ding Jing, Qing 清丁敬 - 白雲峰主Many schools with different artistic styles were established in the Qing Dynasty. Xiling Seal-Engraving Society (Chinese: 西冷印社) had a great influence upon the development seal carving in the middle of the Qing Dynasty. Ding Jing (Chinese: 丁敬) is the outstanding representative of that society. The society founded by Deng Shi-ru (Chinese: 鄧石如) expanded rapidly in late part of the Qing Dynasty. At that time, many masters of seal carving laid the emphasis on the expression of personality, unrestricted craftsmanship and distinctive styles of the works. All these provided the seal carving by scholars with fresh impetus to reach the peak of seal carving.

The adornment of the knobs of the seals, the indispensable part of the seal carving, also developed rapidly in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The varied craftsmanship and techniques of expression made it become the special artistic form with the practical purpose. Now Chinese seal carving is widely appeal very much to the more and the less cultured despite of their respective aesthetic standards.

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For ordering a Chinese seal, please contact us at arranke28@gmail.com.

References:
1. Sun Weizu 孫慰祖, Seal 印章. Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House 上海人民美術出版社: Shanghai, 1998. ISBN: 7532218937
2. ThinkQuest Internet Challenge: Chinese Seal Engarving

Introduction to Chinese Seal Carving (2)

Chinese royal seal has a long history. In the late part of the Shang Dynasty (Chinese: 商朝), bronze royal seal had already appeared. The seals were extensively used as a token in the daily life during the Spring and Autumn Period (Chinese: 春秋時代) and the Warring States Period. With the development of casting technique, the craftsmanship of bronze seals was greatly improved. Moreover, the specialized skills brought about exquisite composition of the inscription, which comprehensively reflected then cultural background. The ancient royal seals with the distinctive regionalism, made in the Warring States Period, were the seals with free and natural inscription and diversified knobs of the seals. It was envisaged that more attention was paid to the sense of beauty of the seals during that period.

Official Seal of Tang-an, Tang Dynasty 唐朝 - 唐安縣之印Seal carving reached a new peak during the Qin and Han Dynasties (Chinese: 秦漢). The unified and comprehensive system of official seal carving came into being as a result of the promulgation of official seal decree. Rigorous and elegant materials, knobs and inscriptions were all traits of then seals. During this period, the success of the seals of different kinds settled the basic principles of Chinese seal carving. The Sui and Tang Dynasties (Chinese: 陏唐) was another innovation phase of Chinese seal carving. New standard of seal cutting was established. The carving of personal seals was very brisk in the Song and Yuan Dynasties (Chinese: 宋元), which prepared the ground for the development of seal carving in Ming and Qing Dynasties.

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For ordering a Chinese seal, please contact us at arranke28@gmail.com.

References:
1. Sun Weizu 孫慰祖, Seal 印章. Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House 上海人民美術出版社: Shanghai, 1998. ISBN: 7532218937
2. ThinkQuest Internet Challenge: Chinese Seal Engarving

Introduction to Chinese Seal Carving

Pingyido Situ, Warring States Period 戰國時代 - 平陰都司徒Chinese seal carving, the hybrid of calligraphy and carving, is a peculiar art with distinctive national style.

Generally speaking, composition of inscription and sharp of the knob of seal embody the splendid artistic style of Chinese ancient seal carving. In addition, the side inscription and the natural beauty of the seal had been paid more and more attention since the Ming and Qing Dynasties (Chinese: 明清). Therefore, with the development of Chinese seal carving, the characteristic aesthetic standard came into being.

Portrait Seal of Deer, Han Dynasty 漢肖形印 - 鹿形Ancient seals were mainly made of bronze. In addition, other materials were often used to carve seals, which included gold, silver, jade, porcelain, horn, wood and stone. Bronze seals were made by the way of casting and chiseling. Ancient seals could be classified into official seals and personal seals for their function. During the Warring States Period (Chinese: 戰國時代), the popular idioms were often adopted as the inscriptions of seals. The earliest seals, "Xiaoxing Yin" (or portrait seals, Chinese: 肖形印), displaying different kinds of patterns, had a great vogue during the Warring States Period and the Han Dynasty (Chinese: 漢朝). With combining with the painting and calligraphy, seals of different kinds came out in quick succession for the special purposes of appreciating and collecting. In the meantime, more materials were used for seal carving than before. Up to the Ming Dynasty, stone became the principal material for Chinese seal carving, which directly led to the revolution in the artistic style of Chinese seal carving.

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For ordering a Chinese seal, please contact us at arranke28@gmail.com.

References:
1. Sun Weizu 孫慰祖, Seal 印章. Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House 上海人民美術出版社: Shanghai, 1998. ISBN: 7532218937
2. ThinkQuest Internet Challenge: Chinese Seal Engarving

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New year to all the people, we hope 2008 brings all kind of good moments, peace, love and joy.

All the best from Hong Kong.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Xmas

Merry Xmas 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Handcraft Papercutting

In Beijing, one of the most impressive folk arts is the papercutting (Chinese: 剪紙). It is the handcraft of Chinese people which use a skillful and creative technique to cut the paper and turn it to a very attractive decoration on the doors, windows, columns, walls and lamps. Every time when I visit Beijing, I take many photos for the papercuttings as they are very beautiful and unique.

Checking the history, the tradition for papercutting was started in 6th century. It was served for religious purpose at first. There are two ways for doing the papercuttings: scissors method and knife method. Today, papercuttings are chiefly used as decoration in many special events, like Chinese New Year, Marriage and cerebrate the birthday.

There is a quite funny study: In the countryside, papercuttings are usually made only by women and girls. This used to be one of the crafts that every girl was to master and that were often used to judge brides. Professional papercutting artists are, on the other hand, almost always men who have guaranteed incomes and work together in workshops.

You can have a look of our papercuttings, we have many different kind of topics, like the Chinese Drama Face, Dragon, Butterfly and many other different animals.

Feel free to contact us at arranke28@gmail.com if you're interested in our papercuttings! Enjoy!

References:
1. Wikipedia: Chinese Paper Cutting
2. Wikipedia: Papercutting
3. Global Chinese Language And Culture Center: The History and Art of Paper Cutting
4. Hong Kong Civil Service Bureau: Chinese Papercutting
5. ChinaVista: Paper Cutting

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Nice Lhasa, Excellent Hostel

Potala Palace at NightDuring our trip to Tibet, "Jui Hing" ("祝興家庭旅社" in Traditional Chinese) is one of the greatest family hostel in Lhasa. It is opened by a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Tang. Besides living, you can experience friendship, kindness and love in here. Jui Hing Family Hostel is only 5-10 minutes away from historic ensemble of the Potala Palace, the transportation is very convenience and you can access most of the famous places in Lhasa easily.

Potala Palace in Day TimeThere are different types of bed rooms, 1-3 people that suits different combination of travellers. The rooms situation are wonderful, you can see from the pictures, rooms are clean and tidy, with standard size of bed and TV set, toilet and bathrooms are clean too. Outside the rooms, there's a sitting rooms which you can see the Potala Palace very clear, and it's great for you to take photos during sunset. Many travellers like to rest in the sitting room as they can chat and exchange information with each other.

Next time, if you are in Jui Hing, please help me to send my concern to Mr. and Mrs. Tang, they are really so nice to us, treat us as family member.



Jui Hing Family Hostel
Jui Hing Family Hostel
Two Bed Room
Two Bed Room
Three Bed Room
Three Bed Room


If you need more information about this hostel, please contact us at arranke28@gmail.com.