Chen Clan Academy Picture

The Chenjia Ci, also called the Chen Clan Academy, is not only an important heritage site under protection by the country, it is also a local Guangdong handicraft museum.

The Chenjia Ci, also called the Chen Clan Academy, is not only an important heritage site under protection by the country, it is also a local Guangdong handicraft museum. It was built in 1890-4 by the people surnamed Chen in the 72 counties of Guangdong to worship ancestors. The antique style of the academy and the numerous artistic treasures it holds will make you feel that you have gone back to the Qing Dynasty. The Academy faces south and occupies an area of 13,200 sq m. It includes a main structure, the Eastern Courtyard, the Western Courtyard, the Back Garden and the Lawn. Juxian Hall is the central building within the Academy. Its central axle makes the Hall symmetrical. The inside and the outside of the Hall are decorated with stone, brick, wooden, ceramic and clay sculptures, as well as steel casting of a superb quality. Therefore, the tiled roof, the compartments and the corridors seem to contain too much for the eyes to grasp. However, all these cannot surpass the big board with the words "Chen Clan Academy" on the lintel of the main entrance. The doors are painted with colored door-gods. These, together with the huge stone lions at the entrance, are awe-inspiring indeed. Apart from the architectural style, the Chen Clan Academy is full of local handicraft of all sorts: ivory sculptures, coconut sculptures, jade sculptures, wooden sculptures, paper-cuttings, colored ceramics, costumes, and furniture, etc. The themes represented are wide-ranging and picturesque: historical legends, myths, nature, gardens, etc. Because every item in the collection is invaluable, the academy can be called the treasure house of handicraft.

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