It took Zheng Chunhui no less than 4 years to complete this work, measuring a total of 12.28m in length.The Chinese sculptor transformed a whole tree trunk for his masterpiece.
The sculpture emulates a famous Chinese painting called ‘Along the River during the Qingming Festival, by Zhan Zeduan. Painted almost 1000 years ago, the creation, capturing the lives of bith rich and poor during the festival, is considered one of China’s most important works of art.
The enormous sculpture was unveiled at the Palace of Beijing in 2013, recieving praise from around the world. It was also recognised by the Guinness Book of Records 9th edition as the longest hand-carved wooden sculpture in the world.
The sculpture depicts life during the Song dynasty in impressive detail. The artisan pain-stakingly carved mountains, rivers, bridges, clouds and hundreds of people….all by hand.
Wood-carving has a long history in China, dating all the way back to the Tang dynasty. The practice of hand-carving is now falling into disuse however, finding itself replaced by technologies which side-step ‘hand-crafted’ work.
Fortunately several studios in China are working to keep the technique alive, displaying exquisite carved panels at their doors which are usually picked up by prestigious galleries and museums.