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Boxwood Carving
With a time-honored history,woodcarving boasts a great amount of genres with a variety of shapes. Historical records show that woodcarving came into existence as early as the Shang Dynasty (circa 1600-1100BC). Lu Ban, who is honored as the founding father of carpentry, was said to have carved a wooden bird. which was able to fly in the sky for three days during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC).
Up to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), woodcarving art experienced remarkable development, at least partly because of the prevailing of puppet opera that boosted the craftsmanship of carving skills.
In the past, woodcarvings were mostly used in Buddha statues or figures, temple decorations as well as other construction decorations, dragon, lanterns, steles, folding screens and other furniture. With several generations of efforts by artists, the function of woodcarvings has become more artistic. Generally speaking, woodcarving can be categorized into three genres concerning the method: circular, relief and pierced (hollowed-out) carving.
Boxwood carving, which has a history of about 900 years, is basically a kind of circular carving. Boxwood, the material, has a creamy and yellowish color, which darkens over time, giving an elegant and classic sense of aesthetic feeling. Boxwood carvings are mostly produced in Wenzhou and Leqing of East China`s Zhejiang Province. as well as Shanghai Municipality and Southeast China`s Fujian Province.
Based on traditional carving skills, the Shanghai boxwood carving assimilates western carving methods like dissection, inverse proportion, configuration, center of gravity and line. The works are mostly based from childhood stories and folk customs.
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