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Origin

        There are quite a few great painters of Chiayi, which earn the city the title “Painting City”. Koji pottery of Chiayi is also well known in Taiwan; meanwhile, stone monkey, another feature of Chiayi, appears to stand out gradually with the efforts made by the creators.

        Chiayi is home to stone monkeys and the creation of them has been lasting for 70 years. Creators always emphasize the feature of “simplicity with heart” when they carve the stone into the shapes of monkeys. Creators reveal the relationship and instincts of monkeys through the rock shells along Bazhang River.

        What is invaluable is that most of the stone monkey sculptors haven’t undergone academic trainings and the skills they own are all self-taught. The “Stone Monkey World” has eventually been established after the past half century of the sculptors’ hard works since the pioneer amateur artist Zhan Long.

        Cultural Affairs Bureau, Chiayi City Government took the responsibility to organize local art heritages and has been holding “Stone Monkey Outdoor Creation Exhibition” since 1998. The event has drawn the attention and presents Chiayi City another feature to show its cultures. The event also enables people to get closer with each other and to show supports for this simple yet profound art. They can also learn how the amateur sculptors turn a solid rock into a vivid stone monkey.

International Sculpture Symposium

        Stone monkey of Chiayi City, a handicraft with a 70-year history, is unique and the only one in the nation. In order to promote stone monkey to the globe, the international monkey stone sculpture symposium was first held in 2016. Foreign and local sculptors are invited to create giant stone monkeys for the event, and people can also attend to view the masters’ marvelous techniques. There will thus be more and more stone monkey art works.

        The symposium can spark ideas of sculptors to carve the rocks with the traditional skills. Through their background history, the stone monkeys carved by those sculptors reveal the uniqueness and features of Chiayi City. The techniques of creation also show the fun of sculpture and build a bridge connecting different cultures. The annual symposium successfully put the sculpture works of Chiayi on the global stage. The dynamic process has inspired the interactions of local cultures and art creations and passed down the legacy of this beautiful land.

Website Links:

2018 Chiayi International Monkey Stone Sculpture Symposium

2017 Chiayi International Monkey Stone Sculpture Symposium

2016 Chiayi International Monkey Stone Sculpture Symposium