2016

The Chinese Style on Eggshells

Soyim

Eggshell sculpture by Wang Jian

Wang Jian
Wang Jian, alias Qingqing and “dancer on eggshells”, is the representative inheritor of the “Luzhou Eggshell Sculpture”, listed in the intangible cultural heritage of Hefei city, China’s eastern Anhui province. As an art lover since childhood, Wang has engaged in many forms of fine arts, specializing in eggshell sculpture.

Chinese Dragon. This sculpture was crafted purely by hand with only several simple tools: a single-edge blade, a pencil and an eraser on a swan eggshell. A full-body awe-inspiring dragon that looks so vivid that as if it is rising up to the sky was portrayed in detailed layers on the curved surface of the shell with the application of the yang carving technique by creating indentation on the background to make the pattern prominent.

Red High Hat on A Silver-white Body — A Rare Goldfish Variety. In China, fish has been endowed with wishes for wealth and abundance in life as its Chinese pronunciation coincides with that of “surplus”. A rare and famous variety of the unique Chinese goldfish — Red High Hat on A Silver-white Body — was chosen as subject in this artwork. This variety has been taken as an especially auspicious omen because their hat-like body parts are in one of the Chinese’s favorite color — red. Two of such kind of goldfish playing with each other at great ease was illustrated to convey the artisan’s wishes for a peaceful, stable and happy life for all.

Water Town in Jiangnan. This eggshell sculpture was crafted purely by hand with only several simple tools: a single-edge blade, a pencil and an eraser. By illustrating on the surface of an eggshell a charming water town scene of twenty-three houses, mountains, falls, lakes, birds, bridges, pedestrians, boats with reflections on water, etc., the artisan has unveiled the attractive sceneries of the beautiful Anhui province in East China.

Outlaws of the Marsh. This handmade eggshell sculpture featuring characters from the Chinese literary classic Outlaws of the Marsh (水浒传) was crafted with only several simple tools: a single-edge blade, a pencil and an eraser. The artisan selected three out of the 108 characters from the book, all with strong personalities. As an innovative artistic form that counts as a breakthrough from the traditional painting with brush on paper, eggshell sculpting has attracted more people in China, even more foreigners, to the rich and profound Chinese culture.

Wang Jian has achieved a lot in the past decades since he started to get involved in eggshell sculpture. He insists on creating beautiful artworks known for vividness and liveliness with the simplest tools and materials.

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