Chengdu Travel Diary | Jinli-09
Chengdu, or China in general, is an amazing place. They have breathtaking natures and scenery, they have magnificent architectures and buildings, they have amazing arts and crafts and they are very deep and vast in their cultures and histories. There are so many things to see in China. Chengdu is only one of the city in this big country, but it will take you a lifetime to know it well.
China’s long history and vastness in cultures allows for the development of amazing arts and crafts over time. Arts and crafts are everyday life for the Chinese and is imprinted into every corners of their cities design. You can find arts and crafts everywhere in China, sometimes in places that’s not so obvious.
In most places in China, if you look up, or down and start paying attention, you will most likely find another world open up to you. You will find Chinese arts and histories in the closeup and fine details of ignorable places. For example, the wood carving in the photos is just a very small part of a very large building. It’s there all the time, but most people are already wow by the grand architectural design of the building itself and most often will not see these minor details.
Look at the wood carving, I am sure you will agree these are some very fine workmanship and artistry. So much works and skills were put into places that won’t attract any attention, amazing isn’t it? Every one of these hidden art works and fine details tell a story. When you put these stories together, it’s like there’s another world exist between these corners and walls, separated from the normal life out there.
These flavorful windows tell a history. They were build accordingly to traditional Chinese windows design. In the past, the same type of windows are made from wood and paper, no glass. Even after glass were invented, people still continue using wood and paper because glass is just way too expensive and rare, only the very powerful and very high up people in the government can get their hands on it.
You might ask, what about security? Surely windows that are made with papers cannot possible offer any sort of protection from breaking and entering. You are absolutely right! Paper windows are not safe, that’s why only rich family with high walls and employed guards use these paper windows. They use it for their artistic value, not for protection.
Common people at the time leave a couple of big empty squares around their house and call it windows. They made their home secure at night by blocking those big empty squares with big block of woods. They can’t afford paper even if they want to have paper windows.
Another example of beauty in the minor details. The photo above show only a very small part of a very large and heavy stone-made water container. The stone water container is just a decoration in Jinli today, but this kind of water tank is traditionally used for fighting fire. Look at the carving on the stone, isn’t it amazing? You won’t see it without paying attention to it.
You truly can find arts and crafts all over Jinli. This elephant statue is just one of the many pieces in the water drainage that is meant to look like a small stream. You won’t see a decorated water drainage in too many places in the world, that I am sure.
This is just part of a huge stone carving that is way bigger than me. Look at the details of this carving, you can see the hard work and artistic direction that was being put into it.
I think I made my point. So while visiting China, while you are taking in every breath taking things China is throwing at you, I encourage you to also pay attention and look closely to the small details of where you are standing, you might be surprised with what you may find.