By Dong Na
For the past six months, Xiangshan bamboo root carving artist Xu Jie has been perfecting his latest work, Sports Competition Along China's Most Beautiful Coastline. This is a collection of human figures: athletes engaged in sailing, windsurfing, and beach volleyball, all of which are events of the Asian Games scheduled to take place in Xiangshan this year.
Xu Jie, 40, has been working as a bamboo root carving artist for more than 20 years. His works demonstrate a distinctive personality, elegance, and superb skill. The human figures he sculpts have received high praise from fellow artists and experts. A member of Chinese Arts and Crafts Institute, Xu has earned many accolades, including "Zhejiang's Top Young Artist" and "Ningbo's Rising Star Artist". His works have won many national and provincial gold and silver awards.
Xu Jie has loved arts and crafts ever since he was a child. After graduating from junior high school, his father arranged for him an education in the art of bamboo root carving. He spent his days working with bamboo roots, mastering the sculpting knife, and studying under acclaimed artists such as Zhang Dehe. Gradually, his works began to gain recognition.
In 2014, Xu Jie founded his own studio, where he integrates his exquisite skill with original ideas, forming a distinctive personal style. He also pioneered a number of unique bamboo carving techniques.
On November 1, 2019, Xu Jie's art received the gold medal in the Yiwu International Forest Products Fair. His work Collecting Chrysanthemums under the Eastern Fence won the Yingshanhong Award, Zhejiang Province's most prestigious art award.
When asked why he was inspired to create sculptures themed on the Asian Games, Xu Jie explained that he believed artisans and athletes to be connected. "Carving bamboo sculptures of the athletes allows me to tap into their competitive spirit, which is what modern artisans need. Artisans can also draw on top athletes' open-mindedness, dedication, insightfulness, and daring."
Chief Adviser: Zhao Qingchuan
Proofreader: Dong Na