Source text - Chinese 关柏春先生
Translation - English Guan Baichun
Guaerjia Baichun，also named as Guan Baichun , from Xibe Minority, was born in Qiqihaer. He was so fond of Calligraphy that even as a little child he found his favorite writing on sands and searching funny stones on the bank of Nenjiang River. It is his early fondness of Calligraphy and Nenjiang River stones that destined his life-long pursuit of micro-letter stone art. Far back to 1992 Guan set out to and unfold his artistic work of Micro-letter stone. In order to focus on the large work of Westward Migration, which was based on his national history, in 1996 he released himself from any of his social activities, so that when finished Westward Migration was successfully collected by Chinese Museum for Nationalities. In 2000 Guan went on another journey of 300 poems of Tang Dynasty, which showed the glory of poetic art in Tang Dynasty of China on 320 stones of different sizes. As soon as presented for culture promotion in Luohu Business Mall, the magic stones were quickly brought before many sights overseas, where foreigners showed great interests in the “can tell much” stones and the ancient poetry in China. Micro-letter stone, an innovative art form is appreciated by a number of home artists, attracts wide attention of Art Allies and is reported in most of popular media. Leaving behind the praises such as Gold Prize of 1st Chinese Art Exhibition, Chinese artist of world and other prizes he is wholly occupied by creating Chinese Dragon of the Century, which is to symbolize the jointly striving of Chinese and the notably up-rising of China.
The earliest Micro-letterist in record is ShiYiguan in Nanyang of Easten Han Dynasty. When Hanling Emperor was rulling (168-169 AD) he was wrapped up in Calligraphy. The emperor once mustered nationwide the calligraphers at Hongmeng and gathered hundreds of applicants. Among them Shi was outstanding for his calligraphy of Bafen form, which showed his power by installing one character in a square of two meters and his skillfulness by containing ten hundred characters in a square of about 3 centimeters, where came the true micro-letter art. What makes micro-letter art the scare calligraphy? For you can not imagine its difficulties and skillfulness and fullness of this microcosm. Through out the history you can see many surrender on the journey, while the true achievers are as few as the stars in the dawning sky.
Micro-letter stone is an ingenious art with little history, while Guan is one of the artists who have mastered the skill. He blends the essence of Chinese characters and the visual stereo shape of magic stones, making the two enjoy much more mutually than separately. Basing on searching and mastering the traditional calligraphy techniques, being bold to employing unique aesthetic conceptions and new algorithms, by transplanting calligraphy to hard stone, micro-letter stone art becomes a new form of art in magic stone language and calligraphy language, which in terms of connotation and denotation renders culture flavor and sense of gratifying. Only when the just concord of the stone spirit and the historical culture is concluded by seeking and reading stones and history can the creation be carried out. To preserve the works satisfactorily long it is preferable to be baked at low temperature, thus it is free of wearing and water and fading. So Guan had particularly managed to master the technique of ceramics roasting. From Westward Migration and 300 poems of Tang Dynasty to Chinese Dragon of the Century we can determine that Guan is nearly flying in the air of free kingdom of micro-letter stone art.
It is more difficult to work on stone than on paper due to stones having diverse veins and shapes of concavo convex and different qualities making it no easy thing to present as nature a character as that on paper. In addition when creating temperature, humidity, light, ink and mood of the artist will affect the work. All these factors can only be melted by the artist’s good understanding of stones and masterly calligraphy skill into a splendid work. For the past few years Guan’s art has won many to follow him as a master, but most of them simply intended to do this for making a living and would give up at half of half for no quick progress and return. Guan is planning to impart the art to a persistent disabled and has appointed with Shenzhen Nanshan Disabled persons’ Federation a detailed schedule and form of impartation. Guan says: “I must find a successor of this life-long pursuing art.”
Guan often said there were some kind of foreordination between him and stones. Though he was only with himself he was not lonely for the stones were awaiting his exploring as if they were playing hide-and-seek games. In the games stones always played around him: sometimes it would stumble his feet, sometimes hinder his motorcycle wheels, sometimes pretend to sleep in the water, sometimes proudly hang on the cliff. At the end of 1990s he and one of his friends came to Guizhou Province and were accommodated in a simple family. During little talk Guan learned that one year ago this family then rich was burn down by an accidental fire and the host had sealed his mouth since then. After a few days of staying together the host was very mysterious about them searching for stones and further for the art. Hearing Guan having covered most parts of the country for stones the host was deeply touched and decided to lead and accompany them as a new day of his. The night before Guan and his friend were leaving the three of them drunk to high and the host could not stop talking as was heard: “I was dead for a year before I met you. It’s you perseverant searching stones everywhere for art that makes me come to life again.” In barren fields Guan had got uncountable helps from friends of all nations: in Yanjie a Korea mother had sewed his shirts, in Inner Mongolia a Mongolia brother had fixed his broken motorcycles and led his way. When Guan tried to pay for that, the brother almost had been angry with him. It is appropriate to say that Westward Migration is completed by 56 nations and is a firm symbol of overall national unity.
After Guan quitting his job in 1996 .his wife,who resigned at the age of 38 ,bore all the living cost and art work charge by singing two courses in an entertaining ball only for 25 Yuan. Depending on this limit Guan searched stones everywhere: for near he drove motorcycles together with hammer, hook, axe and compass, for farther by train or lift he could spend several days and nights there. In all these years of creating micro-letter stone works Guan has used up three motorcycles and dozens of shoes, his figure of backing a bag of stones has been seen in the west and in the east. On a stone exhibition when a reporter aimed the camera at this Xibe man, he was so shy that he made efforts to hide his right foot. The reporter did not see why until he found out that Guan’s toes were smiling out of his shoe. During creating Chinese Dragon of the Century a big problem faced by Guan is the lack of money and he is forced to sell some of his works to go on the future. Some businessmen discern the commercial value of Chinese Dragon of the Century and even one is willing to offer 300,000 Yuan for putting one’s company name on the head of the Dragon. But Guan has his plan that he will restrict the place only for Hecheng—his hometown. In the artist’s life Guan is not all along appreciated and his micro-letter stone was once doubted as a laser scanning one. Without saying anything he took out a stone of the same size as that of a fingernail and wrote a poem on it all at once. When the doubter’s eyes were widened and asked for buying Guan wiped all of it calmly. This is what we call the respectability and style of a folk artist!
Micro-letter stone embodies long culture accumulation and broad artistic background. Only until time-consuming pains-taking training is fulfilled and high skill is individually reached and the artist’s learning, knowledge, polish and spice unconsciously are intertwined with the art can the flow of average instinctive release be lifted to the free gratifying liberty of mind.