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Liuyang River in China: Episode 3 - Stone Carving

(People's Daily Online)    15:11, February 09, 2018

Stone carvings are one of the things that Liuyang is famous for, and they perfectly show the force and mercy of the Liuyang River. Chen Jiwu grew up along the river. These large and small stones reveal the beauty of these waters to him.

CHEN JIWU: When I was young, I lived on the banks of the Liuyang River. I often walked along the riverside. The chrysanthemum stone is one of my favorites.

It is said that this place is where a natural chrysanthemum stone was discovered.

CHEN JIWU: I began learning to carve stone when I was twenty. It’s been twenty seven years.

For Chen Jiwu, this is a sacred place.

When he was a student, he would come to the riverbank to play. After becoming a stone worker, he began coming here to select his materials.

CHEN JIWU: I remember the first time I bought a truckload of stones, only one of them turned out to be usable. It fetched a good price, so I was able to make ends meet. But I don’t think I’ll do that again. The stones cost so much. It was too much of a risk.

The fear of suffering a loss gives Chen Jiwu a feeling of respect toward the nature’s gifts. As time passes by, that feeling grows stronger and stronger.

CHEN JIWU: When it comes to carving, sometimes less is more. This part is redundant. It has nothing to do with the chrysanthemum, so cut it off. The chrysanthemum itself is more than enough.

Being a stone worker may not be a very glamorous career. But I still like it very much. This type of traditional craft needs people to pass it down.

Chiseling is an important process. It helps us craft the general form of the work. The thing we’re trying to do here is to chisel away all the unnecessary parts. You should remain focused. Because otherwise, a small mistake will ruin it. And you can’t remedy that.

The respect for nature and impressive carving techniques are what turn ordinary stones into masterpieces. They are engraved with the

straightforwardness, honesty and passion of the people of Liuyang, as well as the harmony between human, mountain, water and stone.

CHEN JIWU: It’s like lives have been stuck in the stones for two hundred and seventy million years. And the amazing thing is that we get to set them free and show their beauty to all. I think that’s our greatest happiness.

In this magic place where stones blossom, people are destined to better learn how to get along with nature. Chen Jiwu is dedicated to stone carving and his works present the beauty of this time-honored craft to the world. Miracles of stones are continually happening under the water, because the river never stops flowing.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Hu Ximeng, Bianji)

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