The Maritime Silk Road International Arts Festival held in Quanzhou Nov. 25

The 10-day Maritime Silk Road International Arts Festival (Culture City of East Asia 2014-Quanzhou Carnival) kicked off November 25 in Quanzhou of east China’s Fujian province.

Renowned as the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 AD), Quanzhou was already an important port by the 5th century. It still is one of the most developed cities of China in private economy today. The city not only boasts a rich maritime history, but also a wide range of historical and cultural relics, which can be demonstrated through the fact that Quanzhou is among the first batch of 24 famous historic and cultural cities promulgated by the State Council, and was designated as an “East Asia City of Culture” in 2013 along with South Korea’s Gwangju and Japan’s Yokohama.

Cutural City of East Asia 2014, Quanzhou

Art troupes from Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Holland, Greece, Egypt, Germany, Britain, Italy, Denmark, Morocco and India, nearly 20 countries will show up at the festival.

Activities will include an academic seminar on the strategy of building the 21st Century Silk Road,  Arabic intangible cultural heritage exhibition, and the 1st Maritime Silk Road International Brands Trade Fair, also a cultural discovery tour of diplomats to Quanzhou is now underway.

 Hu Zhe from
 and China Daily Fujian Bureau also contributed to this report.

Cutural City of East Asia 2014, Quanzhou

About Quanzhou written in English by Dr. Bill Brown, American professor of Xiamen University MBA center

About Quanzhou in photos from Quanzhou Evening Newspaper
tags: Tourist Culture Ambassador, Aerial photos of Quanzhou West Street, Xijie West Street online, Xijie Planning, Quanzhou culture in comparative sights, Non-material Cultural Display, Quanzhou Museums online, Interview with Quanzhou-born Cultural Celebrities, A legendary trip of an ancient ship back to Quanzhou


Happy Journey across China -Hui’an

CCTV China Central Television
Learn to Speak Chinese > Happy Journey > Fujian >
Episode 190: Hui An [huì ān] 09-06-2010

The hosts Yuanyuan John Gordon and HAN Jia  introducing Hui’an on Happy Journey across China

The hosts Yuanyuan John Gordon and HAN Jia
introducing Hui’an on Happy Journey across China

Huian has long been known as home to stone carving.
Huian stone carving has a long history and is celebrated for its fine craftsmanship.
It has become a big attraction of Huian.
In Huian, you’ll feel as if you were walking through a big gallery of stone carvings.
The streets are lined with many stone statues, which is a unique sight of its own.

Learn Chinese the fun way! And enjoy a happy journey across China!
Hello, I’m Merry Han Jia. And I’m Happy Yuanyuan.

To my surprise, I could see so many stone carvings at the seaside here.
There are more than 500 stone statues here in this stone sculpture park.
These figures range from the 108 heroes of Outlaws of the Marsh to many of the characters in A Dream of Red Mansions.
Each statue looks lifelike and vivid.
I also heard that many of China’s famous steles and huge sculptured monuments were made by Huian sculptors.
Yes, such as the marble balustrades and pillars of the Great Hall of the People and the Monument to the People’s Heroes in Beijing and the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing are all masterpieces by Huian artisans.
“Jiezuo” means masterpiece.
For example, A Dream of Red Mansions is a literary masterpiece.
Zhè xiē shídiāo dōu shi huìān rén de jiézuò
These stone carvings are masterpieces made by people from Huian.

Caiwu, China's Culture Minister on Hui'an CCAF

The Cultural Minister Mr. CAI Wu talking with sculptors at 2011 China Hui’an International Carving Art Festival and Stone Carving Competition site

Stone carving in Huian originated from the Yellow River area.
It can be traced back to as early as the Jin Dynasty 1600 years ago.
Later it incorporated the culture of Fujian and Zhejiang, the oceanic culture and some fine elements of foreign cultures before gradually forming a unique style of its own.
Actually, we can summarize in one sentence the history of the development of Huian stone carving in the course of over 1,000 years.
What is this sentence?
It originated in the Jin Dynasty, developed in the Tang and Song dynasties, matured in the Yuan and Ming dynasties, had its heyday in the late Qing Dynasty and has made innovations in modern times.
It’s a terse summarization.
That’s for sure.
The development of Huian stone carving can be divided into four stages.
And each stage had its own characteristics.
What are the four stages?

Stone carving in the first stage mainly took the form of stone figures and stone animals, the images being plain and simple.
In the second stage, in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, artisans paid more attention to the linear structure and shape of the subject.
The craftsmanship was more refined.
“Jingxi” means meticulous or fine.
“Jingxi” is an adjective, which means meticulous or fine.
Then it should be the third stage.
Yes. In the third stage, the technique of 3-D and hollow carving was developed, giving heart and soul stone carving.
It is needless to say about modern stone carvings.
Look, they are carved more exquisitely, giving more sense of modernity.

Huian Local Stone Sculptor Exhibition

Group Show of Hui’an local Stone sculptors in Chongwu town

Due to its rich cultural connotations, unique artistic style and salient local flavor, modern Huian stone carving has become an outstanding representative of Chinese stone carving.
In Huian today, there are many stone carving companies, that are known for their excellent craftsmanship and have become a distinct feature of the locality.
I heard that these companies produce a variety of fine-quality stone carvings, which are sold not only in China, but also to many countries and regions in the world.
I also found the carving techniques of these works are all different.
Based on the carving techniques, Huian carving can be divided into nearly 1,000 types such as relief carving, intaglio carving, linear carving, 3-D carving, photographic carving and hollow carving.
Based on their functions, Huian stone carvings can be further divided into environmental stone carvings, architectural ornaments and daily-use objects.
The most distinctive type of Huian stone carving is photographic carving.
Such carvings are vivid and lifelike.
As it is like a photograph, it is called photographic carving.
It is also billed as a Chinese tour de force.

“Bizhen” means lifelike, or true to life, right?
Right. “Bizhen” is an adjective.
It means lifelike or vivid.
Just as we said, Zhè xie yǐngdiāo zuòpin fēicháng bīzhēn
These Yingdiao are very true to life.

Girls in Hui'an doing photographic carving

Girls in Hui’an doing photographic carving

The image is depicted through various dots.
They are really unique!
Yes indeed.
Look, those photographic carving artists are at work.
Let’s go over to have a look.
Look, how earnestly these two artisans are working!
Yes indeed.
I heard that photographic carving requires very high production skills.
It does not allow a single error in production.
To my knowledge, on the basis of the former black and white carving, they have developed the color carving technique, which makes the carvings more lifelike.
I find photographic carving can not only depict the image more accurately, but also display more fully the unique artistic style of stone carving.

 Over 600-year-old granite wall city Chongwu of eastern Huian county

Over 600-year-old granite wall city Chongwu of eastern Huian county

Well, that’s all we have to say for today.
I suggest that our audience should take a look at the following
Feast for the Eyes to get a feel for the charm of Huian stone carving.
The stone culture in Huian has a long history.
There are various types of exquisitely crafted stone carvings here.
They are beautiful in shape and full of charm and interest.
Photographic carving is one of the genres.
It is billed as one of China’s tours de force.
Huian artisans give life to stone with their wisdom, making the art a gem of Chinese handicrafts.
Good. After you got a feel for the charm of the unique art of Huian stone carving, now we have to check what you have learned.
Listen carefully.
Here’s today’s award-winning question.

At the end of the program, we’d still want to remind you not to forget to continue to be with us tomorrow at the same time for the Happy Journey across China.
Of course, don’t forget our slogan.
Learn Chinese and make friends everywhere!

Martin Luther King at Washington's National Mall

Granite Statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall
in Washington DC. carved by Hui’an stonemasons

For the corresponding Chinese lines please click on the link to watch the program

Chinese traditional architectural craftsmanship of Hui’an inscribed in 2008 on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Hui'an Techniques of Building Chinese Traditional Architecture inscribed in 2008 on the 2nd national-level list of Intangible Cutural Heritage

Chinese traditional architectural craftsmanship of Hui’an inscribed in 2008 on the national-level list of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China.

Quanzhou Evening Newspaper

Hui’an Stone Carving inscribed in 2006 on the list of China Intangible Cutural Heritage of Folk Fine Art

Hui’an Stone Carving is a traditional carving art using petrous bluestone that is mainly found in Hui’an County in the Quanzhou area of Fujian Province. Hui’an teems with blue stones that stonemasons use to make sculptures for decorating temples and other constructions.

Relief Panel hand carved by Quanzhou Xinkai Stone

Relief Panel hand carved by Quanzhou Xinkai Stone

Hui’an Stone Carving originated along the Yellow River valley, and combined local cultural elements as well as those from foreign cultures introduced via the Silk Road at Sea.

As early as the Southern Song Dynasty(1127-1279), Hui’an Stone Carving was divided into numerous genres. It developed rapidly during the Yuan Dynasty(1271-1368) and reached its peak by the end of the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644). Stone-carving shops sprang up in the region. They produced mainly architectural decorations, and these decorative carvings made their way into many temples and monasteries in Fujian and Taiwan, as well as some of Beijing’s grandest buildings.

3-D Statue hand carved by Quanzhou Xinkai Stone

3-D Statue hand carved by Quanzhou Xinkai Stone

There are five main genres of Hui’an Stone Carving: stone tablets, landscape sculptures, architectural ornaments, crafts, and practical-use daily utensils. The techniques employed include circular-carving, relief-carving, line-engraving, incised-carving, and image-engraving.

The themes of Hui’an stone carving mainly center on figures, flowers and birds. It is famous for the stone lion, which is lovely and has stone pearls in its mouth.

Hui’an stone carving has seen many developments over the years. With distinct local characteristics, it has spread overseas and is especially popular in Southeast Asian countries.

Dragon-carved stone pillar hand carved by Quanzhou Xinkai Stone

Dragon-carved stone pillar hand carved by Quanzhou Xinkai Stone