Dignity, sympathy, participation

Direct, sober, unassuming

In comparison to marble or other patterned stones, granite has little visible grain, and tends to be appreciated in respect to its mass. The impression of bulk and relative magnitude is accented by its fine granular surface and by cutting slight decoration into the surface - though never too fine, as it does not hold such detail well. Granite in the houses of the literati (and all manner of wealthy families) was used for major entrances, providing a solid frame at the threshold and sometimes extending as a high external skirting. Discrete luxury lay in the scale of stones, as in these massive pieces still in place in the Dong Hua Li district of Foshan (佛山), Guangdong. Simple, massive decoration accompanies this.

The sense of force and sober power that is evident in granite is well-matched by finely tailored brick. This provides variety as well as economy – though hairline brickwork of this calibre is laboriously created, with the bricklayers said to be only able to lay 5 to 8 bricks per day. The green tint of the brick used in Guangzhou establishes a rich harmony with the pink tendency of granite.



  Residential housing and details
Qing period (1644-1911), Foshan
Photo, 2008