A tradition that is carved in stone

Updated: 2012-03-09 10:36

By Zhu Linyong (China Daily)

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A tradition that is carved in stone

Stone carving and collecting is a centuries-old tradition in China.

The Shoushan stone, from Shoushan, Fujian province, was a tribute item to emperors as early as 1,500 years ago in the Southern Dynasty (AD 420-589).

In 2006, the Ministry of Culture put the art of Shoushan stone carving on the list of intangible cultural heritages under State protection.

Due to limited resources and the rarity of masterpieces by a shrinking number of old masters, the prices of Shoushan stone carvings have soared in recent years.

An ongoing exhibition of Shoushan stone carving art at the National Museum of China offers a rare chance to get a close look at the exquisite artworks.

Chen Lizhong, a master Shoushan stone craftsman from Fujian, exhibits his best works.

Of the 100-plus pieces, the most eye-catching is a 3-meter-high Shoushan stone carving of flowers and phoenixes, entitled Eulogy to the Spring.

9 am-5 pm, until March 22. National Museum of China, 16 East Chang'an Avenue, Dongcheng district. 010-6511-6400.