Chen Clan's Academy, sitting in the west town of Guangzhou, is just most recommendable buildup of folk art and tradition of the city.
The academy was established in 1894 in Qing Dynasty. Its construction was financed by all the 72 Chen clans in Guangdong to provide to Chen juniors accommodation and place to study and prepare for provincial examination. Later it was changed to be the Chen Clan's Industry College, and then middle schools afterwards.
It features classic excellences of typical Lingnan architecture, well-and-balanced layout, exquisite, and richly-decorated. You are greeted in a spacious square just outside and then attracted into the open matrix of four landscaped courtyards, imposing halls and peaceful corridors inside. Wood, brick and stone carvings, clay and pottery sculptures, iron structuring, glazed glass windows, painting, calligraphies and so on by local masters are all in functional art here and there. It is now the biggest, best preserved and decorated clan complex in Guangdong.
Adding to its in-built cultural gems, wide collections of Cantonese folk craftworks and life items have been showed here, such as porcelain, embroidery, paper-cutting, historical furniture, ink slabs, and various carvings (such as ivory, jade, bone, nut ,miniature etc.) , since the ancient Academy was designated as the Guangdong Museum of Folk Art in 1959. Most highlighted are the clay sculpture collections of Xiguan (Western of Guangzhou downtown) Folklore for Century, by Wan Zhaoquan, a local master sculptor. They give lovely and vivid presentation of the very tradition of local life, tinted with passion, understanding, pride, humor and historic reminiscence.
Majestic buildings, exquisite constructional details, delicate courtyards and gardens, and fabulous art pieces are well mingled to pose tasteful pleasure at ease. The Academy has been named as one of the Eight Sightseeing Sites of Guangzhou in New century and the National Key Historic Site.
Building itself : Gate-Spirits, Constructional wood carvings, halls and rooms, courtyards,
brick and tile carving and glazing,
Art shows: Clay sculptures of Xiguan Folklore for Century by Wan Zhaoquan, carvings of jade, bone, miniature and nuts
Open hours : 8:30-17:30(daily)
Admission Fee : ￥10 (adult), ￥5 (students, pupils and children)
Add : Chen Jia Ci, Zhong Shan Qi Rd, Liwan District, (West to the crossroads of Zhongshan-7 Rd. and Kangwang Rd.)
Subway : Chen Jia Ci Station, Line 1
Bus : 85,88,104,107,128 (Gaoji Stop), 268 (Chen Jia Ci),
or 15,52,55,105,124,133,193,196,205,207,231,232,256,275,530,539,555 (Zhongshan Ba lu)