Shuiguan Song Jiangsu, China

A master carver; born in 1946 in Zhoushan Village, Suzhou City. He is a representative successor of the National Intangible Cultural Heritage - Guangfu Olive Nut Carving; Senior Research Fellow; President of the Jiangsu Province Taizhou City Carving Artists Association.

From a young age Shuiguan fell in love with the carving arts, influenced by his surroundings. His carving career has spanned more than 40 years. Shuiguan Song's masterpieces are known for resembling traditional auspicious themes such as images of Luohan. The artistic expression is rich, vivid, natural, and realistic, and his works have won numerous awards at home and abroad. In the October 2009 Ninth Chinese Folk Literature and Arts Fair, his carving “Forge Ahead” won the top prize in Chinese arts and crafts industry - the Mountain Flowers Awards.

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Q

Fun of Art

A

The art of fruit pit carving really calms me down and helps me stay focused on the handicraft of creating new pieces. It brings me a variety of benefits including the constant improvement of my artistic taste and mental state. With a market thriving for fruit pit carvings and my works being approved by the market, I’m quite happy that my efforts have finally paid off.

Q

Basics and Time Required to Master the Art

A

Painting experience is recommended. It usually takes about a year to master the basic techniques although the exact amount of time depends on each individual’s understanding of the art. Olive pits are first used to practice basic carving skills and your fingers often hurt after a half-day practice session. The pain will disappear when your hands grow calluses after several months’ practice. That is when you will start designing and making your own pieces.

Q

Hopes for Inheritance

A

I hope that the younger generation will do better than the older generation in terms of the creation of innovative works and unique styles, so that the art of fruit pit carving will be fostered and enhanced at both home and abroad.

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