Bamboo Carving, Painting & Calligraphy: Highlights of Zhou Hao's Arts


Date:2016-06-16 ~ 2016-08-15
Venue:No.3 Exhibition Hall

       Zhou Hao (ca.1685-1773), also known by his zi (courtesy name) Jinzhan and his hao (literary name) Zhiyan, is considered not only a great master of bamboo carving in Jiading area (now belongs to Shanghai) but an artist of great influence and landmark in the history of Chinese bamboo-carving art as well. The years Zhou Hao had been living actually ushered in the last golden age of ancient Chinese craft arts, during which different types of carving arts including bamboo-carving had been developed to their peaks. After fully mastering the bamboo-carving technique of Jiading School, Zhou Hao began to apply the conception and style of literati painting to his artworks, which created a new carving style emphasizing “using a carving knife as a brush”, extremely popular among the intellectuals.
   Zhou Hao’s arts tended to become mature in his fifties and he had never stopped creating artworks. Besides bamboo carving, he was also accomplished in wood and stone carving, painting, calligraphy, seal cutting, and poetry composing, which made him an all-round literati craftsman and artist. Most of Zhou’s bamboo carving works and paintings depicted landscapes, bamboos, and rocks. His bamboo-carving style was influenced a lot by his paintings, but he was less noted for the latter. It seems that Zhou Hao’s paintings should be given more attention today.
   This exhibition intends to show people Zhou Hao’s great achievements in arts by displaying his works of carving, calligraphy, and painting, which would serve as a case study for the research of mutual communication and interaction between literati art and craft culture in the field of traditional Chinese arts and crafts. It would help to understand how much impact literati art had on traditional crafts and would provide more scientific basis for the authentication of Zhou Hao’s works.