Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism

Xiling Seal Engravers' Society

Xiling Seal Engravers' Society is a traditional Chinese arts organization founded in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and is the earliest Chinese society formed by intellectuals majoring in seal engraving, calligraphy and painting. Seal artists from different schools and places including Ding Ren (丁仁), Wang Fu’an (王福庵), Wu Yin (吴隐), and Ye Weiming (叶为铭) from the Zhe School (浙派) gathered and decided to establish it in 1904. Later on, in 1913, Wu Changshuo (吴昌硕), a famous scholar, calligraphist, painter, writer and epigraphist, was appointed as the first President of the society, which is when the society is believed to have been formally founded. Under Wu’s leadership, many elites who were proficient in stone carving, painting, archaeology and calligraphy were approached to join the club. Thus, the Xiling Seal Engravers' Society began to gather fame.


Every year, many artists hold a gathering of scholars for the purpose of interacting with each other. The number of society members now stands at 380, with most hailing from China mainland, Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore. There are also many exhibitions and activities held annually, and the society has succeeded in becoming a world famous folk academic group after years of progress.


The headquarters of the society is located on the western side of Gushan Hill (孤山) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Xiling Seal Engravers' Society is not only a place to appreciate exquisite works but also a fine scenic spot. Thanks to the efforts of the society members, a large number of calligraphic works, paintings and seals have been collected and preserved well here. Elegant arbors, pavilions, terraces and buildings add to the charm of the area, and the layout of the buildings is in adherence with principles of Chinese garden style. Hence the Xiling Seal Engravers' Society headquarters is also a site of cultural relics that falls under the protection of the state.