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Stone Carving by 

Deng Jing Ren

Stone Carving

Calligrapher at his desk

Deng Shu Heng was born in 1945 in Fushan County, Shandong Province.  In 1951 he moved to Tianjin to join his father.  His parents were poor and worked both on farms and in various jobs around Tianjin.  Deng Shu Heng left school after the 6th grade to work and left home at age 14 to make his own way in the world. 

He worked various itinerant jobs.  It was not an unusual life in those days, or even today.  Young people leave the farms to find a new way of living and get their education through experience.  It is a much more fluid and risky path, but one that served Deng well.

Even as a child he was attracted to the fine arts.  He loved beautiful things.  He often visited temples and monasteries to see the paintings and statues.  Once on his own, he often visited Lin Jushi, a Buddhist monk in Tianjin. 

He used to watch him as he painted and practiced calligraphy.  He found it fascinating.   The monk must have responded to his avid interest because he introduced him to Li Kun Pu, who was the Chief-secretary of the Tianjin Fine Arts Association.  Li Kun Pu began tutoring him.  Before long Deng's talents became evident.   His life changed.  He studied painting and calligraphy and developed his skill.


During the early stages of the Cultural Revolution Deng Shu Heng was sent with his cadre to Xinjiang Autonomous Region for reeducation.  He continued to practice and learn calligraphy and painting there, eventually turning to stone carving and adopting the pen name, Deng Jing Ren. 

Today, Deng Shu Heng lives in Xinjiang in the desert foothills near Tianshan Lake.  The area offers contrasts of beauty from the spare to the lush.  It's a harsh environment but one that offers a close relationship with nature. 

He exhibits his work in galleries in China and Japan and his work has been chosen as presentation gifts to visiting heads of state and dignitaries by the government.

Tian Shan Hu
White Seal
One of the challenges of the seal to the left is to maintain the size and distance of the characters to create an ordered pattern.

A different interpretation is used below where he melds the characters with the shape of the stone and emphasizes the overall sense of motion.

Running Horses Detail

Below Deng Jing Ren holds one of his favorite works.  If you examine the closeup on the right, you will notice that the sun is created using columns of miniature characters.  In the gallery, you will find an enlargement of the base on which the tiger rests.
Stone Carver Holding Tiger
Stone Carving of Tiger

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(c) Marilyn Shea, 2004
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