Art of Asia
- Neolithic period (c. 7000–1700 B.C.E.), an introduction
- An introduction to ancient China
- Bottle with mouth in the shape of a mushroom
- Chinese jade: an introduction
- Working jade
- Jade cong and bi
- Ritual implements (cong and bi)
- Jade Cong
- Jade Cong (quiz)
This video explores the significance and working of jade in China. Learn more about jade on the Asian Art Museum's education website. Created by Asian Art Museum.
Want to join the conversation?
- In New Zealand we have greenstone. Are greenstone and jade the same thing?(19 votes)
- Oiliness is a very vital measure of jade. Jade with high-oiliness usually costs much. According to this, greenstones may not be valued highly. FYI.(0 votes)
- Many of the jade carvings shown in the video are extremely intricate and smooth and this would seem to be very difficult to do considering Jade hard and can't be carved without modern tools. What was a common time span of completing a well done Jade piece in ancient times? Was Jade only reserved for the wealthy?(17 votes)
- Making even a simple piece would take hours of hard work with ancient Chinese tools. Larger pieces might have taken many weeks to months getting the piece just right for whoever requested a worked piece of jade(5 votes)
- Is nephrite also considered jade?(11 votes)
- Yes it is! Although nephrite and jadeite are quite different chemically, they are both called jade.(13 votes)
- For what reasons do the Chinese value Jade so highly?(6 votes)
- Jade was used as a symbol in ancient Chinese literature and was compared to anything that was good, pure or virtuous.(11 votes)
- Why is jade so important in China?(2 votes)
- Jade is used in ornaments and statues. Jade stone was also used to create weapons used in wars.
There is a Chinese saying that goes, " Gold has a value, jade is invaluable."
Many family names use 'yu', the Chinese term for jade.
When dynasties used to rule, only the royal family could afford and wear jade.
Please comment if you liked my answer or tell me what I should improve in the answer! ;0(10 votes)
- Was jade ever used in western art before modern times?(4 votes)
- In certain jade artworks, how are they able to make parts of the jade different colors? The darker parts of the figurine at2:34look like they're just naturally part of the stone; but the flowers, leaves, and dragonflies on the piece at0:39look like they were purposefully made to be a different color than the rest of it.(5 votes)
- The artist selects and works with the stone's natural gradients and variations in color, using them to their advantage when carving a figure.(1 vote)
- why cant jade be carved?? and what does it look like before being polished?(3 votes)
- jade can't be carved because it's mohs rating is higher than metal.(1 vote)
- What kind of materials and tools are used to shape jade now-a-days? Are they expensive?(3 votes)
- You saw the tools used now-a-days in the video. Watch again, and you'll recognize them.(1 vote)
- Is jade most commonly found in China?(2 votes)
- Jade is found in many regions and usually comes in large blocks. Jade is most commonly found in Far East Asia, specifically China and Myanmar, and less commonly in Russia and South America.(2 votes)
Jade working in China dates back more than 6,000 years The Chinese term for jade is "yu". This term refers to a variety of hard stones that are either transparent or semi-transparent. The two main stones are nephrite, found in many parts of the world, and jadeite. In China, the best nephrite is found in the river beds near Hetian in Xinjiang Province. Jadeite was imported from Burma beginning around the 1700s. Jade is too hard to be carved. In the past, artisans shaped jade by abrading it with various tools worked with sand and water. The working of jade can be seen as a three-step process: 1. Cutting the overall shape. 2. Abrading the details. 3. And polishing the surface. This is Yun Sang Leung, a jade artist who lives in Niagara Falls, Canada. Mr. Leung apprenticed in Hong Kong and worked jade there for many years. He demonstrates the old method of using a bow and abrasives to saw a talisman. Today, artisans use power tools such as a dentist's drill. The bits are covered with ground diamonds. Mr. Leung is demonstrating jade working using modern methods. He makes, however, an ancient shape. The cicada, modeled on one in the [Asian Art] Museum collection about 2,000 years old, is associated with the concept of rebirth. Cicadas live underground for years. In the final stage of their life, they emerge above ground. In Ancient China, a cicada like this would have been placed on the tongue of a deceased person as a way of preserving the vital energy in the body. According to an old Chinese saying, "Gold is valuable, but jade is invaluable." The Book of Rites, compiled about 2300 years ago, states: "If a ruler observes the rites of the state, white jade will appear in the valley." Confucius noted that "the wise have likened jade to virtue." Jade is still highly valued by the Chinese people. Artisans produce both traditional and contemporary forms, employing modern technologies. Jade work is surely one of the world's oldest artistic traditions.