Tang Jun:When Stone’s Paper and Iron Is Pen Date:2020-04-07 21:44:46Editor:刘映红

It’s a world of bare n ecessities. A table and a chair, a hammer and a set of chisels dearly loved by the stone artist. It’s here that Tang Jun’s talent is in full display. Common stones have been carefully carved and polished, bringing them to life, as they take on different shapes — a dragon here, a phoenix there or a crane, standing, bending, or lying down.

Tang Jun is a fifth-generation inheritor of Guangyuan white flower stone carving art and a representative of the national intangible cultural heritage project. When it comes to learning arts, the beginning is always tough, says Tang Jun.

Tang Jun, Director, Guangyuan Tiebizhai White Flower Stone Carving Studio

The initial few years of learning were the most difficult, mostly because my heart kept wandering. Faced with cold stones day after day, I wasn’t sure of what I was doing. My work was limited to roughcasting. I watched with envy while my friends and classmates played outside, went drinking while I was too tired to even move a muscle by the end of day. I even thought of quitting, but all of it changed after I sold my first piece. It felt good to know that someone saw value in it. 

Over the years, Tang Jun has honed his craft, delving into the depths of carving technology, constantly improving craft methods, and boldly innovating art design. He has not just inherited the traditional art of white flower stone carving, but given it his unique personal touch. 

Tang Jun, Director, Guangyuan Tiebizhai White Flower Stone Carving Studio

My generation is transforming the craft of white flower stone carving. Old artists stuck to traditional motifs such as plum blossoms, pine trees, two dragons are playing with a pearl, phoenix, etc. But I’m trying to incorporate other patterns on to it, like landscape, for example. 

‘Early Spring in Shu Road’, ‘Overjoyed’, ‘Double sided penholder’ and other works have won gold medal at China International Tourism Festival, Gold Medal at Fine Arts and Crafts Exhibition of China Arts, Gold Medal at Sichuan Tourism Commodity Design Competition and other international and domestic awards. ‘Suwu Shepherd’, ‘Snowing and Cloud of Jianmen’ and ‘Scholar under the Pine Tree’ have been collected by the National Museum and other even celebrities. 

After ten years of hard work, Tang Jun became a leading stone carving artist with his unique style when he was only 26. Tang Jun can work magic on white flower stone but he is as humble as ever. “I’m just a stonemason,” he says. 

Tang Jun, Director, Guangyuan Tiebizhai White Flower Stone Carving Studio

Guangyuan is about to be listed as national cultural heritage. The white flower stone carving in Guangyuan is a living cultural fossil. We will carve the scenery along the Shu Road on white flower stones to show it to the world.

For him, the Ministry of Culture’s nod in March 2008 to list Guangyuan white flower stone carvings in the national intangible cultural heritage was the best return for his hard work of 30 years.

It’s due to the diligence of craftsmen like Tang Jun that white flower stone carving can maintain its glory and brilliance.

Tang Jun, Director, Guangyuan Tiebizhai White Flower Stone Carving Studio

It’s my greatest wish that this skill continues to be passed on from generation to generation.