Author: changabula

Chinese Tradition and Culture [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-7-7 22:13:29 |Display all floors
Chinese Literature Classics
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Post time 2007-7-9 02:39:02 |Display all floors

like it most !!!

Originally posted by changabula at 2007-4-20 18:59
Chinese Calligraphy

Figure:Chinese calligraphy written by Song Dynasty (A.D. 1051-1108) poet Mi Fu. For centuries, the Chinese literati were expected to master the ...

thanks a lot ,

i can see so many nice pictures

this one is obviously a most pretty one (in my eyes)

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Post time 2007-7-17 11:51:16 |Display all floors
really beautiful and informative pictures, thanks for showing it to us
God bless China !

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Post time 2007-7-17 18:13:44 |Display all floors
China's craft master has many fans 2007-07-17 10:20:31

    BEIJING, July 17 -- Owning an exquisitely handmade folding fan, especially one featuring refined paintings and calligraphy by famed literati, was a status symbol in ancient times. Today, a small population of fan fanatics still cherishes this tradition. And members of this clique flood the home of 75-year-old fan-making master Xu Yilin, in the Taohuawu area of Suzhou, in East China's Jiangsu Province.

    Taohuawu gained a reputation for its convergence of handicraft workshops, many of which produced refined products that became royal tributes. Among them, the representative Su Fan remains a long-standing brand of elegance.

    The brand produces masterpieces from the folding, sandalwood and round silk categories. Each Su Fan fan blends various handicraft techniques, including engraving, mounting, inlay and brushwork. The local fan industry enjoyed unprecedented prosperity during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) but is waning today because of the proliferation of electric fans and air conditioners.

    "There were nearly 100 people in the fan-making business some 30 years ago. But many couldn't survive on the trade and shifted to other professions. The 10 people remaining are mostly elders, whose techniques face the threat of extinction," Xu says.

    His tiny, shabby studio is nestled in a serene valley. Varieties of fan-making tools and incomplete fan ribs are piled up in every corner. Among the several trophies to his name, Xu's latest honor of being designated the Intangible Cultural Heritage inheritor by the Ministry of Culture recognizes Xu's contribution to the preservation of his craft, which he has practiced for six decades.

    Xu's father owned a small silk quilt store in the late 1940s. It was a time of turmoil and wars, and the store's production and business were affected by frequent blackouts. So Xu, then age 15, was sent to become an apprentice at a nearby fan-making workshop. He began working in a State-owned fan factory after the founding of New China. Now retired, he continues researching fan-making techniques.

    "The completion of a folding fan involves 72 procedures," he explains. "The complicated framework will take two or three days - sometimes even a week. Plus, you also have to be a painter and calligrapher. The craft requires not only a pair of skillful hands but also artistic creativity."

    Xu earned the title of "King of Fans South of the Yangtze River" for his sophisticated method of creating bamboo fan ribs, which is recognized as a high-level fan-making technique among those in the circle. According to the technique, a piece of top-quality bamboo would be boiled, sun-dried, shaped, baked and polished until it feels delicate, he says.

    Xu has invented more than 100 framework designs throughout his decades of experimentation. His fans enjoy great popularity among collectors from home and abroad because of their graceful styles and literary tastefulness. His creation of 10 2-meter-long, water-polished folding fans set a national record in 1983.

    Xu could make 600 to 700 fans a year in his prime time. But he now works only three hours a day and finishes about 100 fans annually, which leaves him far from meeting the high demand for his wares. His two sons have also taken up the fan-making business.

    "Few people will sacrifice their youth in a fan workshop and devote themselves to a handicraft that leaves them with wounds," he says, still hoping that the title of Intangible Cultural Heritage inheritor would entice fresh blood to preserve the dying craft.
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Post time 2007-7-24 23:39:02 |Display all floors
China Conducts First National Survey of Underwater Relics

China has begun a comprehensive survey of its underwater cultural relics to learn the history of the sunken treasures and develop methods to better protect them in the future.

"As the first national survey on underwater relics, the survey aims to update information about underwater relics that are already in custody, locate new relics, and set up preservation zones for the most valuable ones," said Gu Yucai, director with the preservation bureau under the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) at a national conference over the weekend.

"Technologies including remote sensing, satellite navigation, and sound navigation will be used in the survey," Gu added.

Organized and well-equipped bounty hunters have made huge profits out of China's antiques, mostly porcelain looted from ancient sunken vessels in the South China Sea.

As one of the busiest international maritime trading routes, known as the "Marine Silk Road,” along which ancient Chinese traders shipped porcelain, silk, and other commodities overseas, the region harbors thousands of ancient shipwrecks.

Archaeologists excavated "Wanjiao No.1" in the sea near Fujian Province in 2005 and the salvage of a sunken ship named "Nanhai No.1," which was started in Guangdong Province in April, will soon be completed.

Chinese archaeologists excavated tens of thousands of precious antiques from an ancient sunken ship, named "Huaguangjiao No.1," in the sea near the Xisha Islands in May this year.

China boasts an oceanic area of 3 million square kilometers and coastline of more than 18,000 kilometers.
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Post time 2007-7-24 23:40:26 |Display all floors
Divers Begin Search for Underwater 'Atlantis'

Ten divers began a seven-day search for a possible underwater "Atlantis" on Friday in the Fuxian Lake near Kunming City, Yunnan Province, the second-deepest freshwater pool in the country.

Local diver Geng Wei first told of a large ancient city in the lake eight years ago, thought to span 2.4 square kilometers. Geng claimed to have seen lots of square boulders more than 1.4 square meters in size, either piled or scattered deep underwater.

In 2001, the local government launched the first large exploration of the lake, which was broadcast live across the nation by China Central Television (CCTV).

submarine was sent down and detected a 60-meter-long stone wall. Divers unearthed a shard of pottery embedded in the stone wall, which was found to date back to the Han Dynasty (104 BC- AD 220).

The evidence convinced Chinese archaeologists that there might be some constructions under the lake, possibly more than 1,800 years old.

This hypothesis was substantiated on Friday in the first dive, when Geng was videotaped finding three notches, each 1.2 meters long and 45 centimeters wide, on a moss-covered square slate.

The "IY"-shaped notches must have been artificial, and "support the idea that all the stones were once processed by humans," said Li Kunsheng, director of the Archaeology Research Centre of Yunnan University.

But Liu Qingzhu, director of the Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, added: "We still have not enough information to verify that these slates made up a city. Even the shard and shell cannot represent the exact date of the rocks."

After Geng announced his discovery eight years ago, more claims were made of underwater finds in the lake, which boasts a water surface of 212 square kilometers and an average depth of 87 meters. They include a slate path, an arena-like building and a small pyramid.

However, Liu, who was present during two underwater excavations, said no pictures or evidence about the above "findings" had ever been provided by these people.

Despite this, experts have engaged in a prolonged debate over whether these slates are relics of a documented city that mysteriously disappeared.

The history books show that the city of Yuyuan to the north of the Fuxian Lake once existed, but it disappeared from records after the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589).

Li said the lake is situated on an earthquake-intense belt, which might suggest that the underwater construction may have sunken in rising waves during a quake.

Dissenters argue that the stone structure is contrary to buildings of this era, which were made of bamboo, wood or mud.

Liu said that while all the answers to this underwater mystery will not be found in seven days, "we'll try to outline a layout map of what is beneath, and do more in the future."

[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-7-24 11:42 PM ]
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Post time 2007-7-24 23:44:35 |Display all floors
Underwater Museum for World's Oldest Water Survey Device to Be Completed

The main part of the underwater museum for the Baiheliang, the world's oldest water survey device which will be submerged once the Three Gorges reservoir is filled, has been completed.

Baiheliang, the 1.6 km-long massive reef important for observing water level changes, has been covered by an elliptical transparent shield so visitors in the future can still see it.

The whole construction project of the underwater museum, the first of its kind in China, is expected to be finished by June, 2007, according to the Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the organization in charge of the project.

Located at the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Baiheliang only emerges from the water during the dry season. Therefore, it was a very important marker for ancestors to observe the changes of the water level and by it, they could predict if they could have a good harvest.

On the massive reef, there are more than 20 fish sculptures, serving as water-level markers. Meanwhile, about 30,000 characters of Chinese poems are also left on the stone, which were carved by Chinese poets of different dynasties.

The stone inscriptions on Baiheliang recorded about 1,200 consecutive years of the river's water levels during the dry seasons as well as its low water periods.

However, similar water survey devices in other rivers of the world only included the local water level information of less than 100 years. In comparison, the stone inscriptions on Baiheliang are much more detailed than those discovered at the Nile River.

Therefore, Baiheliang has gained fame as "a miracle in world water survey history". Engineers also consulted the water level information on Baiheliang when designing the world's largest water engineering project, the Three Gorges Project.

Since 1994, China's cultural relics protection departments have started to research how to protect Baiheliang. Experts once raised several solutions, such as building an underwater museum, or reproducing it and laying it on the bank but submerging the original one.

Finally, the solution raised by Ge Xiurun, an academician of CAS, was accepted. He suggested the covering of the Baiheliang reef by a water pressure-free container with an arch shape. Fresh water will be instilled into the container, making its inside and outside water pressure balanced.
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