Root carving is a traditional Chinese art form. It consists of carving and polishing tree roots into various artistic creations, using roots to make necessities has been practiced since primitive society. Like other artistic crafts, art of roots produced from primitive labor, the earliest root carvings are “辟邪” and “角形器” showing up in the Warring States period. In the Sui and Tang dynasties, root carving not only prevailed in folk. In the Tang dynasty, people laid emphasis on the forms of roots, cleverly taking advantage of the effect of corrosion. In the Song and Yuan dynasties, art of root carving not only developed in the court and folk, roots were used to carve the statues of the Buddha, always comparing favorably with the clay. Ancient artists created lifelike and vivid works by a technique using expression based on the roots natural forms. This kind of creation is not completely artificial, but created by human beings and nature. Root carving is different from engraving, although its aesthetic principals share common ground with engraving, at the same time they are applied uniquely. The common ground is that they share expressive techniques of wood carving, sculpture, stone carving and so on, the difference lies in the natural shape of roots. During the creative process, root carving mostly maintains the form of the root. In other words, root carving is guided by the inherent qualities of the root, creation effects of the same material can be entirely different vary from creator to creator. To make better works, three points are indispensable, peculiar roots To some degree, root carving is an art of discovery in need of seeking. Having peculiar roots is half done, which results from rich experience, Rich cultural foundation Rich cultural foundation, referring to the overall quality for the entire creative process, highlights the natural beauty, with a splendid blend of artificial beauty. Superb craftsmanship The natural beauty of roots can be manifested by fertile imagination and marvelous composition
A Chinese tea table carved from tree root. Note the flat "terraces". Each drains tea into a waste reservoir under the table.
A craftsman works on a piece in Haikou City, Hainan Province. His shop is located in an area beside East Lake, part of Haikou People's Park. The area contains dozens of small shops dedicated to producing root carvings.