Xiling Seal Engraver's Society - A Pearl on the West Lake

Hangzhou is located in the south-east of China with excellent geographical situation, and the metropolis of Three Wu, Qiantang (especially Hangzhou) has been a bustling city since ancient times. As one of the seven ancient metropolis of China, Hangzhou has profound cultural and historical heritage and beautiful exquisite West Lake natural and cultural landscape, known as "paradise on earth". 5000 years ago, the Liangzhu Culture that was praised as "the dawn of civilization" had created a brilliant civilization on this land. The Italian traveler Marco Polo (1254-1324) also described the city as "the world's most beautiful and luxurious paradise city" in his travel notes.


Overlook the snow-covered landscape of the West Lake from Xiling Seal Engraver's Society


Overlook the Xiling Seal Engraver's Society


If the West Lake is a pearl that always emits infinite glamour, then the Xiling Seal Engraver’s Society located in Gushan is the pearl of the West Lake. In the 30th year of Guangxu (1904) in Qing Dynasty, the world's first civil society - Xiling Seal Engraver’s Society self-organized by engravers emerged in Hangzhou, China. In the eyes of carving enthusiasts in the world, it is recognized as the "Holy Land." In 2006, the first batch of Chinese national intangible cultural heritage magnum opus was announced, wherein there was "inscriptions on ancient bronzes and stone tablets (Xiling Seal Engraver’s Society)". In 2009, "Chinese Seal Engraving" jointly declared by Xiling Seal Engraver's Society and Chinese National Academy of Arts China Academy of Seal Engraving successfully entered the United Nations UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. In June 2011, the Hangzhou West Lake Cultural Landscape officially was included in the World Heritage List, and then Xiling Seal Engraver's Society was included in one of the classic representatives of important historical sites around the West Lake in modern culture, by virtue of its important position in the history of Chinese seal culture.


Group photo ofXiling Seal Engrav1's Society holding "Orchid Pavilion Commemoration" in 1913


Xiling Seal Engraver's Society is located in the southern root of Gushan beside the West Lake and is near the Xiling Bridge. The garden in it is refined and elegant, and the pavilions are arranged well-proportioned, representing the essence of South China landscape design, reflecting the aesthetic taste of traditional Chinese literati, which is also a national key cultural relics protection unit. Kang Youwei once wrote "The Best View of Lake and Mountain" for it.


The Best View ofLake and Mountain, written by Kang Youwei in the autumn of 1919


A comer of the premises of Xiling Seal Engraver's Society