Yangtze Delta hand­i­crafts on show at new art cen­ter in Shang­hai

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHANG KUN in Shang­hai


From silk bro­cade to jade sculp­tures to ink mak­ing, a va­ri­ety of tra­di­tional arts and hand­i­crafts from the Yangtze Delta are be­ing ex­hib­ited for a month at the cul­tural expo at the new Duoyunx­uan Art Cen­ter in Shang­hai.

The expo fea­tures nearly 100 na­tional cul­tural ar­ti­facts from the Yangtze Delta re­gion and it has also gath­ered cul­tural ex­perts to demon­strate the pro­cesses in­volved. Th­ese ex­perts will also be able to guide in­ter­ested vis­i­tors who are keen to try their hands at mak­ing th­ese hand­i­crafts.

One of the high­lights is a 12-panel mas­ter­piece by Ren Bo­nian (1840-1896) which was painted on golden pa­per. It mea­sures 7.14 me­ters in width and has a height of more than 2 me­ters. It took the ac­claimed Duoyunx­uan stu­dio eight years to com­plete the pro­ject.

Lin Yuqing, who has worked at the Duoyunx­uan print stu­dio for more than 40 years, is show­cas­ing how tra­di­tional Chi­nese en­velopes are crafted. Along­side Lin is her ap­pren­tice Yuan Guanyang, a 25-year-old who joined the stu­dio af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the prints depart­ment at the art school in Shang­hai Univer­sity.

A ma­jor high­light of the expo, Duoyunx­uan print-mak­ing has a his­tory that spans 116 years. How­ever, the craft is be­lieved to have orig­i­nated in China more than 1,000 years ago. An­cient Chi­nese were found to have carved words onto wood be­fore cov­er­ing it with rice pa­per and cre­at­ing prints with wa­ter ink.

The stu­dio has fur­ther de­vel­oped this tra­di­tional tech­nique by di­vid­ing a colorful ink paint­ing into dozens of smaller wooden boards. Ex­pe­ri­enced crafts­men then print out each of the im­ages carved on the board. Af­ter dozens, and some­times hun­dreds of re­peated print­ings on each page, the paint­ing is vividly re­pro­duced, with each stroke and shade of color ac­cu­rately rep­re­sented.


An ex­hi­bi­tion of tra­di­tional arts and hand­i­crafts from the Yangtze Delta is now tak­ing place in Shang­hai.

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