Wood carving is a special technique of using a knife to engrave a pattern or sculpture on wood. It is an ancient art form, which provides technical support for woodblock printing, woodcut New Year’s paintings and other art categories whose main means of expression is craving.

Yangzhou wood carving originated in the Han Dynasty, developed in the Tang and Song Dynasties, reached its peak in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, which experienced a clear evolutionary process from simple to complex, from decorative to artistic. Exquisite culture highly praised by the salt merchants, the creative ideas of the Yangzhou School of Painting, the world-renowned Yangzhou parks, and the increasing and superior craftsmanship of “Yangzhou workers” have all played a vital role in the development of Yangzhou wood carving. Therefore, Yangzhou wood carvings have distinct regional cultural characteristics.

Yangzhou wood carving is a fine art form combining art with technology, which is integrated with painting and sculpture art. It uses a knife as a pen, wood like paper to paint, or knife as a tool and wood as a material to crave.

Traditional Yangzhou wood carvings have a wide range of subjects, mainly including emblems of good fortune, mythological stories, flowers, birds, fish and insects, four treasures in the study, and historical allusions. A large number of historical Yangzhou wood carving works contain rich historical and cultural information, which provide visual and lively material for studying social life forms, people’s aesthetic sense, folk customs, beliefs and cultural values in different historical periods.

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