India and Burma
All over the great Indian peninsula, wood carvings of the most luxurious kind have been produced continuously for centuries. The ancient Hindu temples were adorned with doors, ceilings, and various fittings made of teak and other woods with patterns of extreme wealth and tiny elaboration. The doors of the Somnath temple on the northwest coast were famous for their splendor and were highly valued as holy relics. In 1024 they were brought to Ghazni by the Muslim conqueror Sultan Mahmud and are now in the fortress of Agra. The gates that exist today are very fine examples of the old wood carving, but probably copies of the original, probably old doors. Many doors, pillars, galleries or even entire house fronts are covered with the most complicated design that is confusing to look at (Bhera, Shahpur). However, this is not always the case, and the Oriental is sometimes more reserved in his methods. Architectural details can be seen with an enrichment carved around the frame. The circle’s Hindu treatment is often exceptionally good and may inspire western design less often. Foliage, fruit and flowers are constantly being adapted to the decoration of doors or windows as well as the frames of chairs and table edges. It is known that South Indian wood carvers often work with sandalwood, which is always covered with design and in which scenes or figures from Hindu mythology take up space. Many of the gong stands in Burma display the highest skills; The arrangement of two figures with a pole on which a gong hangs is known.
Indochina and Far East
In these countries, the carver is second to none in terms of hand dexterity. [Citation required] Grotesque and mimicking work of the utmost perfection is made, and many of the carvings in these countries, particularly Japan, are beautiful works of art, especially when they are carvers copying the lotus, lily or other aquatic plant. A preferred form of decoration is to break down the architectural surfaces such as ceilings, friezes and pillars into framed squares and fill each plate with a circle or diamond of conventional treatment with gussets in each corner. A very Chinese characteristic is the finale of the Newel post, which always remains more or less straight in profile and is deeply decorated with monsters and scrolls. A highly enriched molding with a strong resemblance to the Gadroon pattern is commonly used to highlight edges, and the dragon, which is arranged in curves that mimic nature, is often used over a tightly designed and subordinate background.
The general rule that designers use the same means in every country to get a pattern applies in China. [Clarification required] There are forms of ribbon decoration here that are very similar to those of Gothic Europe, and a Turkestan (3rd century) chair could be almost Elizabethan, like the details. Grill screens, such as those commonly found in historically Islamic countries, are common, and Bombay’s deep-rooted, closely-spaced patterns also have their counterparts. The imperial podium in the Chien Ching Hall in Beijing is a masterpiece of intricate designs. The back consists of a central plate of considerable height, with two of a lesser degree being luxuriously carved on both sides. The whole thing is crowned with a very heavy coat of arms made of dragons and scrolls; The throne is also a wonderful example of carved treatment, and the doors of a closet in the same building show how richly foliage can be created without the use of a stem or scroll. One could almost say that he is wasting his talent on a thankless material like wood. In this material fans and other little things are carved with a delicacy that woos disasters.
There is a general similarity that runs through the carved design of most primitive culture breeds, [neutrality is controversial], with the chip shape of the ornament [clarification needed] being used almost universally. Decorated surfaces, which depend almost exclusively on the incised line, are also used all over the world and can undoubtedly be explained by the extensive use of stone cutting tools. The carver shows the same tendency to exaggerate his art through too much design as the more civilized artisans of other countries, while occasionally exercising a lot of restraint through a harmonious balance between decoration and simple space. As for his chip designs and these patterns, which depend more or less on the line, his work is usually good and appropriate, but when he is busy, his attempts are usually unsuccessful. Primitive carving generally shows that men of all ages and races go through very similar stages of artistic development.
A very popular chip pattern style is that consisting of small triangles and squares that completely cover a surface on the Cook Islands, with the monotony sometimes being varied by a band of different arrangement in the middle of the article or above or below. In terms of maintaining patience and accuracy, this is not synonymous. The Fiji islanders use chip designs that, in their diversity, compete with those of Europe. Occasionally, the native Marquesas carver appreciates the way smooth surfaces contrast and emphasize decorated parts, and deliberately limits his skills to decorative ribbons or special points. The Ijos of the lower Niger masterfully design their paddles and show a fine relationship between the level and the decorated surface. Their designs, although slightly relief, are chip-nature. The method of decorating a motif with straight or curved groups of incised lines is often very effective and suitable in every respect, but it is not a very advanced art form and has limits. The natives of the Congo, now two nations covered by the land mass of the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, do a good job of this kind.
Relief carving is common enough, idols are produced in many forms. The South African may carve the handle of his spoon in the shape of a giraffe and in a round, with each leg cut separately and the four hooves meeting at the bowl, hardly holding a comfortable shape of the handle. The North American Indian shows a broader invention than some nations, with rotation in various forms being a preferred treatment, for example in pipe stems. The Papuan has its own style; he uses a scroll of the form known in Indian scarves, and in some cases the scroll engulfs in a way that is faintly reminiscent of the guilloche. The New Guinea native also uses the scroll as a motif, the flat treatment of which is reminiscent of a similar method used in Scandinavian countries. The work of the New Zealander is far ahead of the average primitive type; [Neutrality is controversial] he uses a very good scroll work scheme for decorative purposes, the scroll lines often being enriched with a small pattern reminiscent of one of the well-known Norman treatments, such as the bow tips of his canoes. The Maori wood carver sometimes carves not only the barge boards of his house, but also the gables, with reptile and grotesque figures usually being introduced. The main posts and rafters of the interior also receive attention. Unlike the Hindu, he has a good idea of decorative proportions and doesn’t plan his design scheme on a too small scale.