Beihai Park Panorama
Palace Decoration
A gift for the Soviet people on the occasion of the 40th anniversary
of the October Revolution from the governmental party delegation
of the People's Republic of China headed by the Chairman
of PRC Mao Zedong, 1957
The “royal style” table decoration just astonishes by its mere size. Its length is
183 centimetres! It is hard to believe but the complex, multi-figurine sculpture
is made out of a whole piece of ivory! The priceless state gift by the Chinese
leader Mao Zedong was presented to the Soviet Secretary General Nikita
Khrushev during the official state visit of the delegation of the government of
the People's Republic of China to Moscow.
Chinese Imperial Beihai Park
The minutely carved panorama reproduces one of the magnificent imperial
parks situated near the Forbidden City in Beijing, Beihai Park. The park is
situated by the lake with the same name and is a treasure of Chinese gardening
with the history of more than 1000 years. Translated from Chinese, “Beihai”
means “Northern Sea.” The carving artist succeeded in reproducing in ivory the
beauty of the park landscapes, imperial palaces and holy temples.
Notably, the imperial parks became accessible only after the
Chinese revolution (1911-1912). Beihai Park was opened
in 1925 and it immediately became the
place of choice for Beijing residents.
Among many of the magnificent pavilions, terraces
and buildings, the artist also placed the
figures of thousands of people, engaged in
various activities or just taking a stroll in
the garden. Despite the fact that the size of
the figurines is measured in millimetres,
we can still see the people's faces clearly.
This complex piece of art was created in Beijing
by a group of carvers under the lead of the
outstanding master, Yang Shi-Hui, in 1957. This artwork
attracted a lot of expert attention, with in-progress
images featured in art journals even
during the start of the ivory crafting.
Collection custodian:
“Master Yang Shi-hui learnt bone
carving from the age of twelve and
easily mastered the traditional
methods of carving. Later he founded
the style of the Yang bone-carving
school. This style is distinguished
by delicate carving of the smallest
details of the composition,
astonishing in their virtuosity.”
The magnificent Beihai Park is also widely known
for its White Pagoda, a Buddhist tower in the Tibetan
style standing tall on the hill. The White Pagoda was erected
pearl of the park, can be seen from many spots in Beijing.
The White Pagoda is a tomb for monks, housing holy
Buddhist sculptures, writings, and dresses of the Lamas
White Pagoda
that master Yang Shi-Hui placed in the middle of his
composition, thus highlighting its role and significance.