Jade Carving in Yangzhou

Home Culture 2019-07-10

Jade Carving in Yangzhou

Jade carving in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, Yangzhou local traditional art, one of the national intangible cultural heritage.

Yangzhou has a long history of jade carving. Jade carving in Yangzhou reached a new peak in the Tang Dynasty, and carving and striping appeared in the Song Dynasty. During the Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty, Yangzhou jade carving entered its heyday. After 1840, the jade carving industry in Yangzhou declined year by year. In the 1950s, Yangzhou Jade Ware Factory was established, and the Jade Carving skills of Yangzhou were inherited again. Yangzhou Jade Carving combines Yin-line carving, deep and shallow relief carving, three-dimensional round carving and hollow carving, forming a rich, round, elegant, clever, exquisite characteristics, with a beautiful and elegant, exquisite artistic style.

On May 20, 2006, Yangzhou Jade Carving was approved by the State Council of the People's Republic of China to be included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage list, the heritage number_-28.

historical origin

Yangzhou Jade Carving is one of the origins of Chinese Jade Carving. It has a long history and can be traced back to the Xia Dynasty more than 4000 years ago. In 1979, a Neolithic tomb was unearthed in Hai'an County (immediately east of Yangzhou area). Among them, there were more than 4,000 years old jades. This shows that jades were made in the area of Yangzhou in the Xia Dynasty.

Jade carving technology of Yangzhou in Han Dynasty has further developed with the change of economy and politics. After liberation, there were many Han Dynasty cultural relics unearthed in Yangzhou. From the unearthed jade carvings, we can see that Yangzhou jade carvings developed from small pieces to medium-sized pieces, from general ornaments such as jade bracelets, jade rings to ornamental jade butterflies and jade bi.

By the Sui and Tang Dynasties, Yangzhou, located at the traffic points of the Yangtze River and the Canal, had become the throat of domestic north-south traffic and the only way for international commercial ships to go north to Beijing at that time because of the excavation and navigation of the Qianli Canal. With the development of transportation, commerce and handicraft industry, special craft jade carving is more prosperous.

In the twelfth year of Tang Tianbao (753), the monk Jianzhen set out from Yangzhou and went east to Japan with painters and jade workers. He also brought the jade products, Yuhuan Shuijie, to hand-sow four mouths and Langmao folded eight sides. He wanted to see the prosperity of carving jade in Yangzhou at that time.

In the Ming and Qing dynasties, Yangzhou jade carving developed from small to large pieces, from individual family production to handicraft workshops of different sizes. In the art of carving is very famous, unique products.

By the mid-Qing Dynasty, Yangzhou jade carving developed to be able to make both exquisite small and medium-sized pieces and spectacular large pieces.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, Yangzhou Jade Ware Factory and Yangzhou Lacquerware Factory have been established.

Cultural characteristics


Yangzhou Jade Carving can be roughly divided into three types: three-dimensional Jade Carving, semi-three-dimensional Jade Carving and Jade Mosaic. Three-dimensional jade carving is also called round carving and semi-three-dimensional jade carving is also called relief. The relief is first carved with a piece of jade into a spread-out jade board, and then various patterns are made on the plane. This relief is also called plane jade carving. Three-dimensional jade carving is carved from a piece of jade material. The products are divided into monochrome and exquisite colors. Its artistic patterns are widely drawn and rich in content. Usually it can be divided into five categories: characters, flowers, birds, animals and stove bottles. These products are divided into three categories: large, medium and small. Most of the three-dimensional jade carvings are ornaments, i.e. exhibits, which are mainly used for viewing; most of the semi-three-dimensional jade carvings are station screens and card inserts; mostly mosaic products are large-scale works such as screens and hanging screens. There are four to six screens in each hall and six to eight screens in each hall. Screens are generally four to eight metres high, and hanging screens are generally smaller than screens. In art, hanging screen and multi-hall, multi-screen and multi-partition are generally adopted; in shape, we should not only pay attention to the connection of dykes and bridges, but also pay attention to different scenery, highlighting the center of each fan, with lush trees and flowers. Jade carvings in Yangzhou are inlaid in the shape structure, which is combined with Yangzhou lacquerware. Like screens, hanging screens are painted with primers. On the primers, according to the different patterns inlaid, they are carved empty and then inlaid with different colors of jade chips at different levels. This is called red carving lacquer inlaid with jade, and it is one of the plastic arts of Yangzhou jade carving.


The style of Yangzhou Jade Carving is first manifested in its rich national characteristics. Jade carving products in Yangzhou are better than stove bottles. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, on the basis of creating small products such as great differences, it has further developed to carve medium and large pagodas and palace lamps. These works have national characteristics and local style.

Production process

Jade carvings in Yangzhou are hard and meticulous in texture, with a hardness of 4 to 8 degrees. Hand-carving technology is more complex. Its technological characteristics are polishing, i.e. cutting jade and grinding jade. Jade carvings in Yangzhou are made of albite, sapphire and jasper from Xinjiang, jadeite, agate and Topaz from Liaoning, crystal from Jiangsu, green seedlings and pine ears from Hubei, Southern Jades from Guangdong and Jades from Brazil, jadeite from Myanmar, blue gold from Afghanistan, jadeite from Canada and coral from Japan.

The first process of processing jade is cutting. Large pieces of jade are bulky and inconvenient to design and process, so first of all, large pieces of jade should be cut into small pieces with a cutting machine, and cut from the cracks or flaws of the jade.

Next, the cut jade is in the hands of the designers. They should design the artistic form of the jade carving according to the specific conditions of the jade carving. They analyzed and studied the nature of the jade to see what products were made of it, and drew design drawings on the jade.

Here's the key step. Jade artists use this high-speed rotating metal tool, from the shape, we can see that the processing procedures are from coarse to fine sequential cutting and forming, and then fine carving. Rough and ugly stones in the hands of these skilled craftsmen gradually become lifelike, both physical and spiritual jade carvings. In the process of jade processing, there is an indispensable thing - water. Because there will be a lot of crushed jade in the process of processing, if not removed in time, it will hinder the sight and affect the processing effect. So the important function of water is to wash away the crushed jade.

All the jades people see are exquisite and brilliant. This effect comes from the last process of jade processing - polishing. Here, the workers carefully coat the surface of the finished jades with an organic chemical material to increase their brightness and make the jades more brilliant and colorful.

Subject works

Jade carvings in Yangzhou have novel themes. Besides reflecting the traditional themes of Chinese people's love for motherland, life and labor, they also create new themes with real life as their content, such as "splitting mountains and diverting water", "fishermen's music", "spring scenery in full garden" and "bumper harvest". These works are full of poetic pride and rich in real life. Smell.

Jade carvings in Yangzhou are famous for their large pieces. Almost every year, large pieces of works are published. For example, the Jade Mountain, which is created by Gu Yongjun, a master of Chinese arts and crafts in recent years, weighs 4 tons, second only to the Jade Mountain in Dayu Zhishuitu, which is the most contemporary. There are also such big ornaments as "Life Successfully", "Music Cyprinus Jumping Wave" and so on.

Inheritance and Protection

Inheritance value

Yangzhou jade carving artist, who has inherited the traditional excellent skills of Yangzhou jade carving, is keen to innovate. In practice, he follows the law of carving technology of "taking materials according to their aptitude" and continuously improves the ability of "Xiangyu" and carving skills in accordance with the requirements of the times, creating a large number of products with novel composition, beautiful shape and exquisite workmanship. Product. Their "Shanzi carving" and "Lianzihuo" skills are unique, showing the exquisite techniques of Yangzhou jade carving.

Current situation of inheritance

Enterprises engaged in jade production in Yangzhou generally face difficulties of high cost (the price of jade increases year by year), high cost and high taxation, and it is extremely difficult to survive. The raw materials of Yangzhou jade carving mainly come from Xinjiang. The price of raw materials has gone up a lot. At the same time, jade carving is a manual operation with a long production cycle. Because the study of jade carving requires a lot of energy and effort, in the process of carving, the creator should have his own creativity and thinking. Payment is not commensurate with reward. Carving radishes in restaurants is better than carving jade articles. As a result, many young people are unwilling to engage in the study of jade carving skills, and there are few successors in jade carving skills. These two reasons directly lead to a large loss of existing technicians, young people are unwilling to learn and engage in this craft, Yangzhou jade carving technology has few successors, and it is urgent to protect and rescue.

Heritage figures

Gu Yongjun, male, Han nationality, born in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province in 1942. In 2007, he was selected as the representative successor of Yangzhou Jade Carving, the first national intangible cultural heritage project.

Jiang Chunyuan, male, Han nationality, born in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province in 1947. In 2007, he was selected as the representative successor of Yangzhou Jade Carving, the first national intangible cultural heritage project.

Gao Yijin, male, Han nationality, born in 1964, was selected as the representative successor of the fourth national intangible cultural heritage project Yangzhou Jade Carving in 2012.

Xue Chunmei, female, Han nationality, born in 1965, was selected as the representative successor of the fourth national intangible cultural heritage project Yangzhou Jade Carving in 2012.

protective measures

Yangzhou Jade Factory adheres to the concept of "talent resources are the first resources", increases investment in Yangzhou Jade School and management of Yangzhou Jade Institute, and formulates various protection measures, including material, spiritual and specific measures to give full play to its specialties. On the one hand, we should carry forward the spirit of loving the factory and devoting ourselves to work, commend the advanced persons who have made great achievements and made great achievements, promote righteousness and promote the construction of workers'two civilizations. On the other hand, we should actively create conditions for contributing technicians to enjoy the honor, status and business so that they can play as much as possible. In addition to the protection and incentive of on-the-job technical personnel, the training of reserve personnel is also attached great importance. In the past time, more than 130 400 students have been trained, and a large number of jade carving technical personnel have been sent to the factory, which continuously injects fresh blood into the enterprise. In 2007, we successfully completed the road of jointly running schools with colleges and universities, recruiting 150 secondary school students and 80 junior college students to train jade carving talents for Yangzhou, even for the whole province and the whole country.

social influence

Important Exhibitions

On November 17, 2018, the "Jade View Yangzhou II - Master Jade Carving Exhibition of Guangling Yaji" held by Guangzhou Municipal Heritage Store opened. The exhibition lasts for one week and invites six masters of jade carving from Guangling Elegant Collection, the backbone of Yangzhou jade carving creation.

On May 27, 2019, Yangzhou Lacquerware Jade Carving Exhibition, a three-day exhibition in Jiangsu Province, kicked off in the Jiangsu Association of Hong Kong, in which the Jade Carving Craft of Yangzhou was displayed.