A down-to-earth Craft
Q: What kind of art is brick carving and miniature? Mr. Chen:Brick carving and miniature is down-to-earth and closely related to life. Miniature carving was first discovered on oracle bone scripts (turtle shells) in Western Zhou, where ancient people kept account and other records; featuring cattle, sheep, and chicken, brick carving was created for the funerary purpose.
“Live and enjoy the moment”, said Mr. Chen. In our daily life, we have more understanding of life in different ways and through a variety of art. Seeking life aesthetic is a noble impulse and vitality based on thousands of years of cultural creation.
Carving on black tiles (click to enlarge) Carving Tan Dynasty poem on dental floss
Irreplaceable Artistic Aesthetics
Q: What meaning does brick carving and miniature have in your mind? Mr. Chen: When I was a child, I placed a piece of brick carved with the character “Love” in front of Chen Forng-Shean Miniature Art Museum. Today, another brick carved with “Pursuit of Miniature” is placed, which reflects the limit of mankind.
In modern times, brick carving is divided into carving before firing and craving after firing. Carving before firing refers to carving on soil. Soil contains water and is easily carved and deformed. Carving after firing is more challenging and features chisel marks, which bring vitality to buildings.
Until late Song and early Ming Dynasty, miniature carving was spread by painters and highly recognized by the royals. The most representative work is Curio Boxes, which features an olive fruit carved with First Ode on the Red Cliffs. Unfortunately, miniature carving started to decline since late Qing Dynasty and became endangered. What Mr. Chen hopes for now is to make children’s story micro books from 200 countries worldwide.
Brick carving “love” (click to enlarge) Brick carving “Pursuit of Miniature ”