Originating from the sculpture art along the watershed of Huanghe River in ancient times and boasting of over 1,600 years of history, Hui’an stone sculpture has a long-standing history. It has integrated the culture of central China, culture of Fujian and Zhejiang region and the marine culture, and drawn essence from every historic era, transforming from Northern style featured with primitive, solid, imposing and demure central-China modeling and simple, rigid lines into Southern style emphasizing exquisite, delicate carving, aesthetics in structure, shape and verve. Upon the heritance and innovation of the masters of different generations, not only has the Hui’an stone sculpture skill been widely applied to four kinds of stones (namely granite, marble, sandstone and jade) and various hard woods and soft woods, but also has it manifested in six primary styles by techniques, including circular sculpture, relief, thread sculpture, shadow sculpture, incised sculpture and miniature sculpture. The works include six big categories, such as monument, city garden sculpture, construction material, religious sculpture and family furniture, works of art, as well as several thousands of sculpture types. It is a miracle rising from the outstanding traditional culture of China, being granted as the titles of “unrivalled skill” and “art excelling nature”. The ten buildings in Beijing including Great Hall of the People, Statue of Young Mao Zedong in Jvzizhou, Statue of Zheng He in Malacca, Statue of Martin Luther King in the United States and other famous works showcase the intelligence of Hui’an people and highlight the radiance of Hui’an Sculpture arts.
The reform and open-up brings Hui’an stone sculpture with strong sense of new concept, new standards and new creativity regarding the modern art, which widens the new horizon of Hui’an sculpture artists. Furthermore, with the application of modern technology and the update of culture creativity, the Hui’an stone sculpture industry has been flourishing. Currently, the Hui’an stone sculpture, by integrating the design, R&D, production, processing, construction, decoration, sales and service, has already become the industry chain with the largest industry scale, the most advanced processing technology, the most complete set of product categories and the most powerful processing capacity. Currently, there are 843 stone sculpture companies, 108,000 people engaged in this industry, 2 Chinese arts and crafts masters, 8 Chinese stone and wood sculpture masters, 17 arts and crafts masters at provincial level, 48 famous persons in arts and crafts at provincial level, 48 arts and crafts masters at city level, over 700 industrial artists at medium or high level, 1 inheritor of China’s non-material cultural heritage (stone sculpture), 4 inheritors of non-material cultural heritage (stone sculpture) at provincial level, 13 inheritors of non-material cultural heritage (stone sculpture) at city level, 23 sculpture families, 2 sculpture enterprises with Chinese Famous Trademark and 16 sculpture enterprises with Fujian Province famous trademarks. In 2016, the county realized an output value of 17 billion yuan, accounting for 21% of the gross industrial output value of the country. And all the products are well received in over 100 countries and regions, such as Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Europe and America.
In September 2013, the county was granted the title of “City of Stone Sculpture in China” from China Arts & Crafts Association, and the county gained the reward again in 2008 and 2012; in June 2006, “Hui’an Stone Sculpture” was elected into the first national non-material cultural heritage list, and was granted the honorary title of “the County of Chinese Folk Sculpture Art (Sculpture)” by Ministry of Culture; in April 2011, and the geographic certification mark for “Hui’an Stone Sculpture” was officially approved by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of PRC for registration; in October 2013, the county was granted the title of “Chinese Sculpture Art Heritance Base” by Chinese Folk Artists Association. in October 2015, the county was granted the title of “World Stone Carving City” by World Crafts Council.