Special Exhibition of Jin Xiya’s Bamboo Carving Art


Date:2019-12-07 ~ 2020-02-23
Venue:No. 3 Exhibition Hall

       Since 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Mr. Jin’s passing away, and 2020 marks the 130th anniversary of his birth, the Shanghai Museum presents this special exhibition to commemorate Jin Xiya (1890-1979), the outstanding bamboo carving artist and theorist.
   Mr. Jin’s given name was Shaofang 绍坊, style name Jiyan 季言, and literary name Xiya (西厓 or 西崖) which was commonly used. He was born in a prestige family in Nanxun, Zhejiang province, and became a civil and bridge construction engineer after graduation from St. Francis Xavier's College in Shanghai. Influenced by his two elder brothers, Mr. Jin Cheng, a well-known painter, and Mr. Jin Dongxi, a bamboo carving artist, Jin Xiya devoted himself to the practice and research of bamboo carving besides his social duty and family business, and made fairly great achievements. He mastered in various techniques, excellent carving skills and elegant styles. In addition, he also established himself as a good researcher in bamboo carving and published a book entitled ke zhu xiao yan 刻竹小言, which marked the first book to introduce the history and craftsmanship of bamboo carving and laid a solid academic foundation for research of bamboo carving art today.
   The Shanghai Museum has a long and profound connection with Mr. Jin Xiya. As early as in 1950s, Mr. Jin donated some of his artworks to our museum. During the political upheaval, he entrusted the family collection to the museum to prevent from being robbed or destroyed. In 2008, his family donated some of his bequests to us. Through various channels of acquisitions, Shanghai Museum has proudly announced to be the most important public institution of holding Jin Xiya’s artworks.
   This is the first exhibition themed on the art of Jin Xiya’s bamboo carving since the founding of new China, which covers not only over 100 pieces of his bamboo carvings, but also wood carvings, paintings, seals, rubbings, colophons by other artists, archives and other objects related to his artistic career as well. The exhibition aims to present a full picture of Mr. Jin’s artistic feature and accomplishment, which will reflect the traditional craft culture of Jiangnan area and promote the research and practice of bamboo carving.
   The exhibition is made possible by the collaborative efforts through various departments of the Shanghai Museum. Most exhibits are from our own collection but some documents come from Archives of Nanxun District, Huzhou, Zhejiang Province. My sincere gratitude should be extended to them all above, for their intimate teamwork and professional support.