With a quality of gentleness, the jade appears to be humble and reliable, but not lack of elegance. It has been travelling along with the Chinese civilization and been tinged with traces of time. The melody made by its clear sound echoes in the blood vein of every Chinese to some extent.
Suzhou jade carving has a long history. Famous jade carving masters emerge one after another. It has undergone several ups and downs, and reached a peak in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Lu Zigang, He Si, Wang Xiaoxi and Liu Shen were all household names. Jade carving craftsmanship reached another peak in contemporary times. Craft is both concrete expression and extension of craftsmen’s artistic thought and creation.
Ge Hong, who has been obsessed with traditional Chinese painting since childhood, worked on pieces after antiquities in his early years. He was best at making rockery, which showed beautiful scenery in itself while delivered connotations outside of it. He would sometimes create interactive scenes where he worked with great efforts and sometimes leave a blank space for imagination. Ge Hong has been committed to the perfect combination of Chinese jade culture and contemporary art. Though his artworks mainly focus on traditional themes, their layout and design display a strong sense of modernity. People could see the infinite nature via his creation.
It is respect for jade, for art and for oneself to learn from heart, from predecessors and from nature. This attitude comprises the intrinsic motivation and self-confession of Ge Hong’s jade carving style. Each successful jade carver has to suffer when in pursuit of his or her own goal. The process of jade carving is also at the same time kind of self-exploration and expression.
Among excellent artists, there is no one who has learned from predecessors but never changes. The real innovation needs inheritance, and the real inheritance requires innovation. If we say the rockery reveals aesthetics for calligraphy and paintings, pieces modeled after antiquities reveal a solid foundation and strong inheritance, then jades with innovative consciousness can better reflect the creator’s artistic cultivation.
“Jades with emotion is what I aspire.” says Ge Hong.
Sincere thanks go to Mr. Ge Hong for his donation of his artwork, which enriches our collection.
Director of Suzhou Museum