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Miniature Stone Sculpture of Famous Novel on Exhibition

A Chinese artist has carved the entire classic novel, A Dream of Red Mansions, onto 280 stones.

The miniatures, all done by hand, were exhibited on the opening ceremony of the first session of the Shanghai Folk Arts Exposition recently.

Zhou Liju, a miniature sculpture artist in Shanghai, sculpted all the content of the novel, composed of 120 chapters and 1.2 million Chinese characters, on 280 rare stones. The smallest character is only 0.25 square millimeters.

All the materials were selected from Shoushan stone, Qingtian stone, Changhua stone and Balin stone, four famous stone types of China.

The novel of A Dream of Red Mansions, one of China's great literary classics, was written by Cao Xueqin (1715 - 1764).

Zhou began the marathon inscription work in 1989. After finishing the first draft of the work in 1991, Zhou spent the following 13 years in improving and perfecting the work.

Zhou's idea came from the alternative name for the book, The Story of Stone. In selecting the stone, Zhou tried to select according to the plot of the novel.

Sponsored by the Shanghai Federation of Literary and Artist Circles, the first session of Shanghai Folk Arts Exposition aims to exhibit the achievements of folk arts protection around the country.
(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2004)

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