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A Report of Zhongtiao Mountain Gigantic Stone Ancient Seal Character “水”

Article Index
A Report of Zhongtiao Mountain Gigantic Stone Ancient Seal Character “水”
I、 An Introduction to Character-laying Project
Ⅱ、Measurement and Calculation of Work Amount
Ⅲ、An Introduction to Chief Creators
Ⅳ、Realistic and Far-reaching Historical Significance
Bringing Benefits to Modern Society
All Pages

中条山 - 巨大石砌篆文“水”字 - 天人中国书法艺术网

Within the significant origin of Chinese civilization, Yuncheng City (called Hedong in ancient time) of Shanxi Province, along the southern bank of Yuncheng salt pond---the second largest inland salt lake, and in Zhongtiao Mountain south of Haizhou Town where the Great Guan (Guanyu,or Yunchang) was born, there is a huge Chinese ancient seal character “水”(water)permanently lying in the green trees and mountains. In the distance, it looks as if a visitor from outer space waves the huge writing brush up in the air to get it done and as dragons rising in the empyrean with wind and thundering full of noble aspiration, which displays the carvers’ huge master piece with parallel in history.


In terms of the application procedures, there are four statements as follow:

I、 An Introduction to Character-laying Project

This project began from the beginning of March, 2009. After a series of making first-phase preparations, such as the hard negotiation of elaborative design and mountain affiliation, in accordance with the local tradition of worshiping the Great Guan and Mountain Gods on lucky days by setting off fireworks for 60 minutes, the holy carving project in Zhongtiao Mountain started on March 10th.  

中条山 - 巨大石砌篆文“水”字 - 天人中国书法艺术网

During the construction period, a group of civilian workers got up early and went home late to expect to finish the project within the time limit of project. They quarried, explored and carried stones with great hardship in the high mountains and abrupt slopes. What beads of sweat when they placed the stones at specific locations! If a slip on the foot, maybe the workers as well as stones would have rolled down the mountain. Only by experiencing personally can you recognize the heart-in-the-mouth situation under such hard conditions. 

When the stones were inadequate, the mules would carry the stones on the back up the mountain, and the mule drivers and the stone-carried mules had become the friends going through thick and thin together. There are five female members who took over the basketball-like stones from the men and passed on the next. Ever the story “Foolish Man Moving Mountains” today reappeared with different forms in the character-laying project of Zhongtiao Mountain. 

A team of visitor from the cities paid a special visit to the project and climbed the mountain with hands and feet. When they arrived at bottom part of established character, they were rather tired and almost can’t move at all, and the ladies were as if bright butterflies decorated and roosted on the gigantic stokes of that character with the shining colorful umbrella. After knowing the free service and no rewards, they were shocked with the artists who moved, passed and guided at the construction site.  The resounding horn, the flashing sweat had deeply impressed everyone at present. Thus, the so-far world largest stone-laying ancient seal character “水” was born after one hundred days construction.

 Ⅱ、Measurement and Calculation of Work Amount

The international common measurement instruments (measuring line, and tape line etc) were used to strictly measure the project. And the calculation was completed in accordance with the international common calculation rules, and repeatedly verified. The data were listed as follows: 118meters in length, 46meters in width, and 5,428 square meters, 1,830workmen, and 148,200 RMB of final account (excluding the fees of reinforcement in the late stage and the maintenance).

Compared to the actual data of present existed project, the gigantic stone-laying ancient seal character “水” has surpassed the highest records in its scale and size.

 Ⅲ、An Introduction to Chief Creators

Ding Shimei: seal script creator, primary designer, Chinese famous calligrapher (detained information from the website: www.skyren— )

Su Aimin:an art director of the present project, an officer in Shanxi Water Conservancy Professional Technology College, a member of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Research Association, famous seal cutter, a committee of China Art Association. 

Liang Feng: art designer of the project, graduating from China National Painting Institution, and postgraduate class of China Calligraphy Research Institution, an artist  in Xiling Press Beijing Company of China Art Gallery and Shanxi Guofeng Paiting and Calligraphy Institution.

Zhang Hualing: supporter of the project, the president of water work in Yuncheng City and Shuanglong Water Pump Company, a committee of Salt Lake District of Yuncheng PCC .

Zhang Ruoqiong: technician of the project, a mapping teacher in Shanxi Water Conservancy Professional Technology College.


Wang Ruwa,Jiao Xiaoru,Li Juanfang(Shanxi Water Conservancy Professional College. ) 
Wang Feng: Ruicheng,Shanxi, a postgraduate in Yunnan Normal Univesity, an interpretor of China Silicon Industry International Conference Formum, the oral translator of Yunnan Union Power Company in Myanmar, a team interpretor of Yunnan Qujing Lide Women Basketball Team.

Ⅳ、Realistic and Far-reaching Historical Significance 

(ⅰ)Passing the Chinese Culture

The further research on the 5000 year civilization history dictates that the position of Hedong(Yuncheng, ) as “the root of Huaxia” is unshakable. Hedong lies across the Zhongtiao Mountain, by the side of the Yellow River with the fertile and wide land and has the collection of human scenic spots. Here the forefathers of Chinese people Yellow Emperor and Chiyou struggled against each other for the occupancy of the location with original battles, and after fifty-two battles Huandi defeated Chinyou and unified the tribes which brought an end to the wild history of human society. The capital established by Yao, Shun, and Yu were all here. China and Huaxia (ancient name of China) both resulted in the location. The four civilizations of human ‘clothing, food, living and transporting” began from here. As for the clothing aspect, the wife of Yellow Emperor created the rearing of silkworm, and skills of reeling silk; with regard to the food, God of Agriculture taught his people to sow and reap in today’s Lishan County; Shun (the emperor after Yellow Emperor) tilled the Li Mountain (today’s Zhongtiao Mountain), and the earliest human salt was taken from the Salt Lake of Hedong. Besides, the archaeological discovery on the fire remains in Xihoudu and the ancient seal writing style of “芮” illustrates the ancients’ deep-rooted memory to Fire and the pleasure for being far away from the life of eating birds and animals uncooked. Then when coming to the inhabitation, we have to mention that the prime minister of Yinshang Country Fu Shuo invented the walling techniques, which dictated the end of the history of living in the cave and the beginning of founding the homeland in the earth. Fu Shuo, over 1000 years earlier than Confucius, was regarded as the saint in Chinese history. Feng Hou (the prime minister of Yellow Emperor ) invented the southern pointing cart, which have had significant impact on the geography, military, marine.

中条山 - 巨大石砌篆文“水”字 - 天人中国书法艺术网

Furthermore, the four elements of “musical instrument (Qin), poem, calligraphy, and painting” symbolizing the culture civilization, are deeply rooted in Hedong; the Emperor Shun played the five-stringed Qin and sang the Souther Song for the people working by the side of Salt Pool. The Book of Odes is the earliest poem collection in China, in which Ballads, Dynamic Hymns, and Sacrificed Songs, describing the scenery of Hedong, enjoy great popularity. The Great Calligrapher Wang Xizi is the great student of Madam Wei in Hedong, and the originator of painting field is the Zhishou who are half-blooded with the Emperor Shun. The two great historians (Sima Qian and Sima Guang) are both inhabited in Hedong, and moreover initially Sima Qian explicitly attributed the professional features like river training, channeling, channel pass (for blood control, navigation, and irrigation) to the term “Water Conservancy”. Besides, the two greatest water conservancy experts in Chinese history Da Yu and Li Bing originated from Hedong. Da Yu conquered the Yellow River, which makes the generations of the Chinese people be nourished; Li Bing built the Doujiang Dam in the period of warring states, which turns the Sichuang Province into the land of abundance, and brings the great benefits to the subsequent generations.

Zhongtiao Mountain, as the ridgepole of Hedong Land, is loaded with the five thousand year glory of Chinese civilization. Nowadays, the art workers laid the character of totem on its wide back with the Zhontiao ancient stones in the simplest manner: the origin of life and wisdom---water. This character was completed with the combination of the oracle-bone inscriptions carved by ancients on the animal bones and tortoise shells and the inscriptions on the bronze for sacrifice. The artists attempted to blend the soul of Chinese culture into the greatest art with the main frame of massive, energetic and fair Confucianism, the life realm of “nature-following”, “connecting with the great spirit” Daoism and the Buddha concept of “my heart is Buddha”  “everything is Buddha”, and concerning the public. The masterpiece was created by imposing the Chinese character “水” with top and bottom frames, from the overall outlay, as if it is a Yin-yang Taoism Eight Diagram Map hanging in the hill, which implies the most primitive and deepest Chinese philosophy of “Heaven- Human Harmony”.                                                                                            

Only such character can bear the weight of the profound and extensive Chinese culture, and incorporate with the well-known mountain. With the traditional calligraphy from, the gigantic works shows a warning sign to the present and future people saying that we should continue the reform with great spirit of Da Yu and Li Bing, without ignoring the life-nourishing water and forgetting the water carrying the great ships of society development, as well as devouring perishing everything in the world.


(ⅱ)Bringing Benefits to Modern Society

The huge seal character “水”---the origin of life and wisdom, is laid in the northern foot of Zhontiao Mountain, the south of Salt Lake, facing each other with Yuncheng across the lake. The southern ring highroad and special tour lines run from the mountain, confronting with the near and far Haizhou Great Guan Temple, Changping Great Guan Temple, Great Guan Grave, and Great Guan Film City. The works with the prominent white color against the dark green mountain has become the new neighbor in the circle of Great Guan culture unfading thousand years, and added the smart and elegant view to the Yuncheng(Lucky City)

In order to build up the water culture brand and create the ecoloigcal civilization in the new century, the water project aims to publicize the water culture and construct the base of water culture with the expectation that the project will bring great benifits to the present and future generations and achieve the sustainable development of human society.

(ⅲ)Concerning the World Future

Water is regarded as the milk to feed human beings. Without the feeding of water, there would be no multiplication of life; without the water, the world would be a dead homeland. The world is full of vigor because of the water. However, as the increasing demand to water, the problems such as lack of water resource, water contamination, and destruction of water environment have been becoming more and more serious, which contributes to the crisis of water resource, water environment, and water ecology. 

Ding Shimei Jumbo Scenery Cursive Script Banner, Qinyuanchong,Changsha

The authoritative institutions at home and abroad claims that there are 1.38billion cubic meters water in the earth, of which the salt water accounts for 97.5% and the fresh water takes only 2.5%. 87 percent of fresh water is unable to be used by human beings because they are ice sheets in the two poles, mountain glaciers, and ice and snow water in the frozen ground. The fresh water that is used by human beings is partially ground water and the water in lakes and rivers, which accounts for 0.26% of the world water. Therefore, the resource of fresh water is rather limited. Yet in China, there are totally 2.8 trillion cubic meters, ranking the sixth in the world, while the per capita occupancy is 2340 cubic meters, which takes one quarter of the world per capita occupancy, ranking the world one hundred and ninth, so China is listed as one the 13 water deficient countries. In China, the per capita occupancy of water in 18 provinces (autonomous regions and municipality directly under the central government) is lower than the national average level.

Shanxi is the most deficient province of water resourse in China. According to the media’s data, in the early May of 2009, there were 30million Mu land waiting for the irrigation, the drought area reached to 8.15million Mu, and the land lack of moist was 22.50million Mu, so millions of people and livestocks are in the thirsty state. Yuncheng is the most important base of grains and crops, but the water occupancy per capita and per Mu is the least. Because of the long-term exploration to the underground water, over one thousand square kilometer areas have formed the cone of influence. The lowering of the central underground water level reached to over 100 meters, the deepest in the province and even in China. 

The national wide shortage of water resource contributed to the over-extraction of underground water in many cities. Moreover, the serious water pollution has not been solved thoroughly, so it is extremely difficult to appraise the destruction of water environment and water ecology, but the negative effects have been obvious. There is nothing new in fighting for the water resource. The limit of water resource in the earth neither meets the demand of capitalism infinite extension nor ensures the communism’s distribution according to needs. The UN’s research on the drinking water issue demonstrated that there are about more than 1 billion people who can’t drink the water suitable to sanitary standards, and some children died early because of the low quality of drinking water; the death number reached to Tens of thousands everyday. International Drinking Water Association declared that there are annually 25milion children aged under 5 who died of the polluted water.

In the sixteenth “World Water Day”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moona called on that World Water Day is in the International Environment Sanitary Year, which encourages us to take actions to deal with the crisis which has influenced the one third population in the earth by uniting all the forces(one third of population are confronted with the trouble of water shortage, which comes 20 years earlier than what we predicted ).

Facing such a serious water crisis in the world and the energy, economy, ecology, crisis brought by the industry civilization, artists should make some significant contributions to reality, society, and human beings so as to call on the people to concern the harmonious development between human and nature, human and society, and human and themselves. The mainstreams of five thousand years Chinese traditional culture: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism concentrate on the harmony and unify of human and nature, at its simplest, one word “moderateness”--- with the implication of unlimited life wisdom, with the universal value. For all the human activities, the crisis won’t occur if being proper.

Translation by:Li Juanfang 

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Last Updated on Friday, 08 July 2011 21:35