with Doug Schneible
Thursday, October 28th, 2010
Doug Schneible, president of Schneible Fine Art in Shelburne will discuss the history, geology,creation, spiritual significance, and value determination of China’s natural stone paintings. Schneible has traveled to the Dali Prefecture and the Cangshan Mountains in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province to the mines where these special stones are extracted; meeting with craftspeople whose families have worked on this unique art form for generations. Collectors have revered landscape stone paintings "Shi-hua" for centuries, particularly since the Ming dynasty when Dali marble became a favored asset.
After considerable external scrutiny, each selected marble slab that was hand cut from deep mountain cave mines, is carefully cut into thin slabs by experienced craftspeople, members of?China’s Bai Minority Group who have practiced this art for over four generations. If a cutter is lucky, the slab’s inner bounds reveal a palette and pattern of uncompromising natural beauty. Thus, a unique work of art is born. Natural inclusions found suggest heavenly landscapes: misty mountains, lofty peaks and meandering riverbeds. Well observed patterns known in Chinese as "Caihu" (colored flowers), "Yunhui" (grey clouds) and "Baishi white jade) describe valued contents.?
Today most Dali marble mines have been closed by the government because of environmental and other regulatory issues. Extraction and transportation is arduous and access is extremely limited to a handful of dedicated generations old Bai workers and "donkey" caravans. It may be a matter of a few short years before access to these mines is completely terminated.
For a map to the library, click here.
The One-World Library Project is a “world library within a library” with a collection of books, films, and other media about world cultures. OWLP items are available for community members to check out at the Lawrence Memorial Library in Bristol. The One-World Library Project also hosts regular programs at the library on the various fascinating cultures that fill our planet. For more information about the One-World Library Project please call 453-4147 or go to www.oneworldlibraryproject.org.
The Lawrence Memorial Library, which hosts the One-World Library Project, is located at 40 North Street in Bristol and has a full listing of items in the One-World Library in their online catalog, www.lawrencelibrary.net.
People are encouraged to recommend or donate items to OWLP that express the richness of their personal experiences with other cultures whether through family, study, travel, language, food, history, art or music. To purchase books or other media to donate to the project, the OWLP encourages the support of local bookstores such as the Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.