Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Traditional carvers shape kernels of art

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

13:44, June 19, 2013

Four Ancient Beauties kernel carving by Lu Xiaoqin. (China Daily)

In a refined kernel-carving shop at China Artwork City in Guangfu, Xu Zhongying is busy receiving customers from home and abroad. Some of them would like to pay hundreds of thousands dollars for her work, but few of them know Xu almost gave up the skills in her 20s.

"When I became a worker in a local kernel-carving factory, I could barely made a living with the meager salary, as few people would buy 'an entertaining thing' in the 1970s," recalls Xu, now 57.

Kernel carving, known as hediao in Chinese, is a traditional micro-sculpture made from the kernel of olive, peach or walnut. Guangfu, a town in Suzhou of East China's Jiangsu province, is famous for olive-kernel carving.

"I was always confident with my skills. Fortunately, more and more people have begun to appreciate this folk art," Xu says.

Kernel carving's earliest record dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and it prospered in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The ancient craftsmen displayed their consummate skills on kernels less than 5 cm long, on which human figures, animals, landscapes and even some lines of poems were carved.

After some hard years, kernel carving regained its popularity around 2008, when it was put onto the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Artists now mull innovations in the art and how to keep the town's specialty from disappearing.

【1】 【2】

We recommend:

Top 10 rarest albino animals in the world

Seven most amazing lakes in New Zealand

Most beautiful Chinese celebs

Sexy photos of Chinese diving show stars

Top 10 special 'small' countries

Lin Chi-ling promotes online game

World's most extravagant mobile home

Joe Chen covers Modern Lady

Fans at FIFA's Confederations Cup

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:DuMingming、Ye Xin)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Venezuelan Army School boat visits Cuba

  2. Military airplanes hightlights Air Show

  3. A strong mother's bitterness

  4. Only group permitted to carry guns in China

  5. Thousand audition for 'Rich Blind Date'

  6. Sand sculptures delight visitors at Qinghai Lake

  7. Fan spends 260,000 yuan on jerseys

  8. Special operation members in training

  9. House price rises cool down in major cities

  10. Highlights of ATC Show 2013

Most Popular


  1. China needs to manage forex reserves
  2. China steel price 'to stay low'
  3. FTA will help ease tensions
  4. Wealthy reflect trends in economy
  5. Comment:Snowden storm stains US
  6. Risks, opportunities in oil, gas sector: E&Y
  7. Creative industries go high-tech and high end
  8. Why fear and loathing of an IPO?
  9. US public ready to be fooled again on Iran
  10. Weibo draws more than just locals

What’s happening in China

Controversial audition for 'rich blind date' -- being pretty is just not enough

  1. New judicial interpretation targets polluters
  2. 118 mln yuan of benefits falsely claimed
  3. Join the army to get Beijing hukou
  4. Childless couples turn to illegal route for babies
  5. Man gets 7 years for smuggling ivory items