烟壶随笔 | Snuff Bottle Blog


The Changes in Wang XiSan’s Studio Name Part 1 – TaiPing Zhuang (1961-1966)      从王习三堂名的变迁看历史 — 太平庄(1961~1966年)

The Changes in Wang XiSan’s Studio Name Part 1 – TaiPing Zhuang (1961-1966) 从王习三堂名的变迁看历史 — 太平庄(1961~1966年)

The Changes in Wang XiSan’s Studio Name Part 1 – TaiPing Zhuang (1961-1966) 从王习三堂名的变迁看历史 — 太平庄(1961~1966年)

Studio Name

An artist will usually have a studio name, also known as the studio title to represent himself. This name is often used in conjunction with the artist signature when signing off on a piece of artwork.  The studio name of famous Chinese ink brush painter Zhang DaQian (张大千) was called “DaFeng Tang” (大风堂). While as, the famous inside snuff bottle painter, Master Zhou LeYuan (周乐元) was called “OuXiang Zhai” (藕香斋). Studio name is usually a reflection of the artistic style and moral sentiments of the artist. It can also represent the artist’s working environment and situation at that point of time.

An artist is an integral part of the society that he lives in. He is inevitably affected by the community and its events. Other than their individual talent and hard work, the society and the events of the time forms the next key factor of the success for an artist. It is therefore interesting to study an artist’s studio name at different stage of his career. This will give you a glimpse of what was happening to the artist through the years and therefore his painting style at that point of time.

Master Wang XiSan’s Studio Name

Master Wang XiSan (王习三) changes his studio name multiple times throughout his painting career. Wang RuiCheng (王瑞成), or better known as Wang XiSan (王习三), was born in Beijing in 1938 (then called Peking). In 1958, he was fortunate to be selected as an apprentice of Master Ye XiaoFeng and Master Ye BengQi, sons of legendary inside snuff bottle painter Ye ZhongSan. Wang XiSan’s early work in the Beijing’s art school as an apprentice was signed off as devoted to the “capital” or “DuMen”. Later, when he became an established painter, he included his studio name as part of his artwork. Master Wang was to change the name of his studio four times throughout his career.

冀派內畫泰斗鼻煙壺內畫大師王習三 - 《霸王别姬》 创作时间:1964年
Farewell My Concubine 《霸王别姬》Painted by Wang XiSan in 1964. Sold at Sotheby Hong Kong, 1994, at a price of HK241,500. A new record for a modern inside painted snuff bottle.

Learning Inside Painting

Wang XiSan was recuited into the Beijing Institute of Arts and crafts, where Beijing’s top arts and crafts talents of that time were brought together. Some of the top artisans at that time were people such as Pan BingHeng (潘秉衡), the best jade carver. Yang Shih-hui (杨士惠) and Yang Shih-chung (杨士忠), who specializes in ivory carving. Bi ShangBing (毕尚宾), Zhai DeShou (翟德寿) and Zhang GuangHe (张广和) in embellishing, Chen ZhiGuang (陈智光) in porcelain engraving art. Lang ShaoAn – the noodle man (郎绍安) in the dough carving, Xia WenFu (夏文富) in the velvet bird embroidery. Gao CongLi (高从理) in the wood carving. Lu JingDa (路景达), the shadow opera master and many more.

The Institute had a library full of books on Chinese art and craft together with a metal workshop for apprentices to learn useful machining skill. At that time, the Beijing Institute of Arts and Crafts was the best learning environment for a young art-beginner. An apprentice there not only had the chance to see the superb works of art every day, but also learn from established artisans from all trades. The valuable experiences in the institute had a far-reaching influence on Master Wang’s career and professionalism as an inside painted snuff bottle artist later.

冀派內畫泰斗鼻煙壺內畫大師王習三 - 在北京市工艺美术研究所合影,
Students of Beijing Institute of Arts and crafts, Master Wang is the 4th from the left from the 2nd last row

Wang First Studio

In 1961 Institute of Arts and crafts moved to a village named Taibei Zhuang (太平庄). TaiPing Zhuang in Chinese literally means “Peaceful Village” and that was exactly what Master Wang hoped to be; A peaceful place for him to perfect his mastery in inside painting. Mater Wang used to sign off his art pieces as “Wang Xisan, made in the capital”, from then, he adopts his first studio name and sign off on his bottle as “Wang Xisan, Painted in TaiPing Zhuang.”

冀派內畫泰斗鼻煙壺內畫大師王習三 - 在北京市工艺美术研究所合影,
Students of the Beijing Institute of Arts and crafts. Master Ye BengQi is the 4th from the left of the last row, beside him on the left is Master Wang
冀派內畫泰斗鼻煙壺內畫大師王習三 - 落款改为“王习三作于太平庄”之作
Wang XiSan Inside Painted Snuff Bottle during the time when he was at TaiPing Zhuang.

Cultural Revolution

Unfortunately for Master Wang, Taiping Zhuang did not remain peaceful for him. Wang XiSan was identified as “anti-revolution” at the very beginning of the Cultural Revolution in 1966. He was deported to the rural area in HeBei Provence (河北省) in FuCheng (阜城) County to undergo reform. The dream of ” TaiPing Zhuang “quickly vanished into thin air.

冀派內畫泰斗鼻煙壺內畫大師王習三 - 1961年,在北京工艺美术研究所跟随师傅学徒
Wang XiSan at the Beijing Institute of Arts and crafts, 1961.

冀派內畫泰斗鼻煙壺內畫大師王習三 -


Visit us if you are in Singapore

Contact us if you are interested to view some of the bottles while visiting Singapore.

We will be delighted to share some of our experiences in collecting these amazing art pieces and show you the bottles that you might be interested in.........

Follow by Email
Facebook
YouTube
YouTube