Published: May 1st 2012April 23rd 2012
3 Days Porcelain Capital & Root Art Tour in China - Kaihua County - Day 1 (23Apr, 2012)
Our tour bus departed from the People Square in the center of downtown Shanghai. After 5.5 hours driving, we arrived at the Root Art Expo Garden
in Kaihua County in Zhejiang province.
This garden is the largest and best venue for the exhition and study of the Root Carving in China. The total investment of the garden is around 450 million Chinese Yuan by Mr.Xu, Gu Qing - a master on root carving art. We enjoyed many marvelous root carvings in the giant ancient Chinese syle palace buildings in the garden. After getting into it, we walked in a corridor to enjoy the root carvings of 12 animals of CHINESE BIRTH year and 18 arhats.
The most important and famous root carvings are inside the Root Carving Buddha Nation
. Root Carving Buddha Nation has building area of over 10,000 square meters, with 3 bassilicas. The first one is double layers structure. The second and third are single layer structure with an Arhat corridor near the hill. There are future Buddha basilica, Mahavira Hall, Arhat temple, etc. it shows over 1000
pieces of great root works about Buddhism culture. They are Sakyamuni, the future Buddha, the four Boddhisattva, 500 Arhats, ect. Amongh them, Sakyamuni Buddha is the largest one, weighing 40 tons. Its material costs huge sums of money, passing from China and Myanmar border.
Among them, the most impressive works for me are the 500 arhats statues made in root! This set of 500 root carving arhats is the only one in the world. Mr.Xu,Gu Qing used over 10 years, collected many longan tree roots with over 1000 years old and some other trees' roots, made these statues. All of these arhat statues are as high as the real man, majestic and with unique styles. They are with both mystery of Buddhism and real life feeling of human beings. They stand around in knots, some are speaking with each other, some are in sad or bitter expression, some stand alone, some are picking ears and pinching nose, innocent and carefree... They are the excellent combination of the root carving art and the Buddhism culture.
There are also some other root carving masterpieces.
Then we drived for another 3 hours to the our hotel - Yaoli Holiday Hotel
located at the entrance of the Ancient Ci-Cha Town (Ci means porcelain and Cha means tea. ). This hotel and other buildings in its environs are in the typlical local architectual style, with green mountains around and a beautiful river -Yao River - running just by the side of it.
Yaoli area in Jing Dezhen city (Jing Dezhen City is the porcelain capital of China.) is the birthplace of "Jingde Zhen" porcelain. Yaoli is famous for its "the Origin of Porcelain, Town of Tea, Sea of Forest". Originally it is named as Yaoli (means an area of Kiln). Back in the Tang dynasty, porcelain workshops were established here and have existed ever since. But when the Kaolin Clay was gradually exploited up and the new kilns set up in the Jing De Zhen Town near it, the kilns here were closed and they name of this area was changed to Yaoli - with the same pronounciation of the old name and the meaning of it is Wonderful Land now.
Kaolin clay: Kaolin clay has been famous far and wide for a long time, since it's an important material in porcelain making. The word Kaolin comes from the Chinese
name of a mountain called Kaolin, meaning high hill, in Dongbu, 45 kilometres to the east of Jingdezhen, where it was first discovered. Kaolin soil can be pure white, or light yellow, light gray or rose coloured, when there are impurities. Kaolin clay has become the universal name for 'sticky clay'. It is located in Yaoli area and now it has been overexploited and only a little left. So now it is under strict protection and is not be allowed to exploit more.
In the evening, after checking in the hotel, there is still one hour free time before dinner, I got into the old Ci-Cha Town (Porcelain and Tea Town)
to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of the town. On this evening, there is only a little drizzle. So the river was still gentle and blue. The old town is quite and in its original status. Not like the old towns in some other places, this town has not been polluted by the morden commerce. Only a few stores being found in the town and the ancient buildings are still in their old appearance.
There are more photos below