Bamboo Carving Hall
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A unique category of art in China, bamboo carving was first seen in the Warring States before it bred decorative motifs in the Western Han dynasty. After a full growth through the Tang, Song and Yuan dynasties, this art achieved maturity. During the mid and late Ming period, bamboo carving was integrated to the other four literati’s accomplishments, namely poetry, calligraphy, painting and seals, and thus became a high-brow art reflecting refined tastes. The Ming and Qing dynasties saw the boom of bamboo carving. Bamboo carving objects functioned as display objects on literati’s desks in their study, reflecting their refined feelings, aesthetic tastes, morality, and thoughts. During the late Qing to the Republic of China, with the social evolution and the rise of epigraphy, many artists and seal carvers were involved in the activity of carving bamboo, and thus emerged the widely-known fan ribs as an important form of bamboo art.

Works displayed in this exhibition are the collection from Mr. Qin Kangxiang, a famous bamboo carving connoisseur and seal carver. This collection was kindly donated to the State by his son Mr. Qin Bingnian in 2001, which is deemed by the cultural heritage specialists Mr. Wang Shixiang and Mr. Zhu Jiajin “the most important bamboo carving collection extant in China and is definitely ranked top level of its kind whether judged by quality and quantity .”

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