Hongkong issued a set of special stamps with a theme of “Hong Kong Museums Collection – Bamboo Carvings”, on 14th November 2017.Bamboo carving is the art of engraving decorative patterns or illustrations on bamboo, or carving decorative objects out of bamboo roots and rhizomes. Bamboo carvings can be broadly classified into two categories, namely stem carving and root carving. In stem carving, bamboo stems are used as the carving materials and the finished artefacts are mainly brush pots, incense holders and scroll holders. As for root carving, bamboo carvers make dexterous use of the different textures and forms of the roots or rhizomes and carve them into various three-dimensional sculptures and decorative objects such as human and animal figurines.
This set of special stamps themed on “Hong Kong Museums Collection – Bamboo Carvings” is the fifth set in the “Hong Kong Museums Collection” series since 2009 and features six bamboo carvings from the collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art:
$1.70: Cricket cage carved with flowers and insects in liuqing low relief;
$2.20: Lingzhi fungus and narcissus carved in the round;
$2.90: Brush pot carved with the scene of “Night Visit to the Red Cliff” in high relief;
$3.10: Incense holder carved with a lady reading a letter in secret in openwork;
$3.70: Water container with plum branches carved in the round; and
$5: Jar carved with kui-dragon and animal masks in low relief.
All six bamboo carvings were donated by Dr Ip Yee (1921-1984). Embossing and debossing have been employed in the printing of this set of stamps to accentuate the exquisite craftsmanship of each masterpiece, producing a strong three-dimensional effect.