The Chen Clan Academy is an academic temple in Guangzhou
built by the 72 Chen (It is usually romanised as Chan in Cantonese) clans for their juniors' accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations in 1894 in Qing Dynasty. Later it was changed to be the Chen Clan’s Industry College, and then middle schools afterward. Now it houses the Guangdong
Folk Art Museum.
Located at Zhongshan
7th Road, the Chen Clan Academy is a symmetric complex consist of 19 buildings with nine halls and six courtyards. Facing south, the complex forms around a north-south axis. A large collection of southern China art pieces, for example, wood carvings and pottery, can be found in the structure. The Chen Clan Academy complex exemplifies traditional Chinese architecture and decoration style, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments worldwide.
The Chen Clan Academy is a traditional Chinese academic complex covering 13200 square meters.The complex consists of 19 buildings with nine halls and six courtyards which are connected by corridors and ride north to south in a symmetric pattern. On the main axis lie the Head-entrance, the Gathering Hall and the Back Hall. This three main buildings are separated with courtyards.
The Head-entrance is 27.56 meter wide and 14.91 meter deep with 17 columns, all decorated with flowers and figures.On the top of the gate of the Head-entrance hangs a tablet with words, meaning "Chen Clan Academy". On the sides of the gate sit stone mats and a pair of 2.25 meter high stone drums.River Gods are painted in color on the gate. Inside the gate there are four double-side engraved screen. The main beams are decorated with birds, flowers, human figures plasters, bats and lions.
The Chen clan academy is notable for the rich decoration which exist inside, outside the halls and in almost every beams, ridges, walls and columns. This make the Chen Clan Academy a large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving.