The Roots of Art – or Art of The Roots?

The mummies of humans died thousands of years back are excavated in Egypt, from the chambers in the pyramids for the research into the past. They also are displayed in the museums for the tourists. Many of these mummies are of the warriors, kings, and queens who lived a lavish life and fought for their own kingdoms.

But have you seen mummified tree roots? Hundreds of them, not only well preserved but also artistically carved, are displayed in ‘The root palace Buddhist culture tourist area’, in the Kaihua County in Zhejiang Province. It is declared as a national ecological civilization education base and the national cultural activity demonstration base.  Considered as China’s top ten leisure towns, it is located at the Qianjiangyuan National Park.

After the discussion with the Forest officials of the Qianjiangyuan National Park in their office, I was taken to “Kaihua County Root Bo Garden”, Interestingly it is also called ‘ roots cultural’ center. It is the only root cultural theme tourist museum in the world and displays there are truly shocking.  It uses the root carving art, the bonsai art, the stone appreciation culture and the ancient garden architecture as a theme.

Many of them are trimmed, organized and carved into the Buddhist monks with the theme and titles in Sanskrit and Pali, like ‘Ananda” meaning joy.

The giant root carving work consists of more than a thousand pieces, the largest of which is the main Buddha of Sakyamuni. It has a large body and weighs more than 40 tons. It is also a quiet learning center. The trees have given the whole of their life for the others benefit after the death due to cutting by men, continues to serve the humanity through such art. Truly, each of the creation represents tree-root-gods!

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