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Xiling Seal Society (West Lake)

Xiling Seal Society (West Lake)

Overview
The Xiling Seal Arts Society, dubbed as the “best society in the world”, is on the western side of Gushan Mountain in the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. It is one of China's most important traditional stone seal engraving associations, a key National Relics Preservation Unit and its engraving a national intangible cultural heritage.

The Xiling Seal Society is a charming institution dedicated to the study, preservation and creation of classical Chinese inscriptions, printmaking and painting. Located in West Lake (Xi Hu) on Solitary Hill island just opposite Zhongshan Park, the Society boasts a history of over 1,900 years.

History & Background
Before the establishment of the society, there were many local or small-sized organizations or artists groups existing, especially in Zhejiang and Shanghai, however, it was not formally registered nor recognized by the government (nonofficial). The seal artists from different schools and places first founded the Xiling Seal Society as a large/national and academic society of learning, research and art in 1904 (the 31st Year of Guangxu Era, Late Qing Dynasty). The first board of directors included Ding Ren (丁仁), Wang Shi (王禔), Wu Yin (吴隐), and Ye Ming (叶铭). The first President of the society was Wu Changshuo (吴昌硕), a famous cscholar, calligraphist, painter, seal maker, writer from Hai School.

Current situations:
The headquarters of society are located on the western side of the Gushan Mountain (孤山) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Gushan Mountain is just aside of the famous West Lake. From the top of the mountain people can get a very good nice view of the lake and enjoy its beautiful landscapes.

On the south of the society, it's the famous Bai Mound (白堤) first built by Bai Juyi, then mayor of Hangzhou and a famous poet. On the west, there's a bridge named Xiling Bridge.

The society has several museums of seals and seal-related arts on the mountain. It also owns many old buildings mainly built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. There are also a pool and several caves on the mountain.

Every year, there many artists get together discussing art in the society. The artists are mainly from Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. There are also many exhibitions and activities on the mountain annually. The famous China Academy of Art is also not far from the site of the society. The Zhongshan Park of Hangzhou is quite nearby.

Now the society and its facilities are listed as one of the National Historic Site & Cultural Heritage under State Protection of the People's Republic of China.

Xiling_1.jpgXiling_2.jpg

Other names of the society:
The other possible names or translations of the society includes:
* Xiling Seal Society
* Xiling Seal Engraving Society
* Xiling Seal Engraver's Society
* Xiling Seal-engraving Society 

Admission Fee: Free
Hours: 8:30-16:30
How to get there:
31 Gūshān Lù (孤山路). Cross the Xiling Bridge (Xīlíng Qiáo, 西泠桥) from Běishān Lù (北山路) opposite the Hangzhou Shangri-La (Hángzhōu Xiānggélǐlā Fàndiàn, 杭州香格里拉饭店) by car, taxi, foot or bike to Gushan Lu and continue following the road around the south side of the island.

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