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Current time:0:00Total duration:6:35

Contemporary Chinese Seals by Li Lanqing

Video transcript

you sunken s-somebody kavadi come tomorrow Wednesday yeah yunjeong this Thomson entire season Wednesday to the somebody wins in wit her Safari chanting so in a tire your tomb under there is reportedly for more than 2,500 years seals have served as commanding emblems of identity and authority in China in the hand of rulers they functioned as symbols of their dynasty or state and in the hand of individuals seals were proof of rank much like a written signature from the 14th century seal carving developed into an important art form achieving the same status as the three perfections painting poetry and calligraphy seals are judged for physical qualities as objects but most importantly for their inscriptions sale inscriptions use the potential of Chinese writing to the fullest and many drawn the pictorial qualities of Chinese characters some of which originated in ancient pictograms during the tumultuous 20th century traditional arts such as seal carving temporarily seemed irrelevant this art form was revived by li lan chang who brought about a dramatic transformation that returns seal carbon to its earlier popularity when he took up the art from his retirement from serving as the vice premier of the State Council of the people's republic of china in 2003 he continued his lifelong promotion of education now directed toward promoting the art of seal parvin part to your faith hung one border one wash area don't go gotta go do muah muah ah yo face hung form for the chili I'm sure pal de sergio muah yo face huh no more machines paws i wanna share yeah take award ow london to the issue de that are into shyama sint la liga para legal fees hung their wines and the case was a fun food tins carving a seal requires great accomplishment from the 14th century painters and calligraphers began carving their own seals which created a pathway for individual artistic expression this development of silk carving into an important art form resulted in great interest in the materials used seals can be fashioned from metal ceramic ivory or as in most cases from a piece of colored and polished stone the lan chang mostly uses stones but also metal porcelain and unusually brick takata seal all we need is the seal stone a knife a fastener and a box of red seal paste the stones quarried in China's mountain ranges are often very soft and therefore suitable for carving by hand after selecting the stone the artist uses brush and ink to write a draft of the inscription on to the bottom of it he then carves along these lines making the characters stand out effectively creating a three-dimensional landscape the seal is then tapped on to a pad of red seal pace and stamped onto paper revealing the characters that were carved li lan chang comments on the intuitiveness of carving a seal what is now trunk up largely a young mods of course you again you can kindly you hurt nods as Charlie sticker 01 our top had your feet hunt tricky little similar so I'm good as a seedot cuz I'm at some always a teen patti i think so proceed a free tongue to go gene me that the way the quantum Leland Ching was born in Xinjiang in jan su province in 1932 and has been a famous statesman at the height of his career which included posts with oversight for economics education culture sport technology and science he served as vice premier of the State Council of China from nineteen ninety-three to 2003 his practice of choosing sale inscriptions is unusual in the history of seal carving as li lan chang works to a great extent with the issues of his time innovatively merging tradition and modernity his role in the reforms in China from the late 1970s has shaped his reputation as being a forward-looking thinker the themes of his seals reflect his principles as a person and politician so his seals are deeply personal and autobiographical in outlook li lan chang was also instrumental in china's bid for the 2008 olympic games he made the final choice of the official seal for which his own artistic prowess made him the ideal judge today the seal is the internationally best-known Chinese seal dancing Beijing reflects the degree to which this art is perceived as a quintessentially Chinese art the main image presents an energetic dancing figure configured in a way that simultaneously resembles the Chinese character Jing meaning capital and which is also part of the name for Beijing Statesman li lan chang has made the 21st century a new age of seal carving his works touch on important political movements and international culture as well as on some personal moments in his life all of which are represented in this exhibition of over 100 seals and to brush rooting calligraphers his works represent the power of culture to link all peoples and nations and they do this in a uniquely Chinese way the exhibition brings the British Museum one step further on its journey to present the richness of contemporary Chinese culture to its public you