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Attempting to build a future for his craft

Tradition inheritor longs for someone to take up the tools and follow in his footsteps, Zhang Yu reports in Shijiazhuang.

By Zhang Yu | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-03-24 08:34

Zhao in the process of preparing sorghum stalks to make an article.[Photo provided by Gu Binjie and Chen Feng/For China Daily]

The 54-year-old man is currently the only inheritor of this technique — a provincial intangible cultural heritage in Jingxing mining area of Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei province in North China. It was added to the provincial intangible cultural heritage list in 2007.

Outside Zhao's studio is a room where he rests and eats when he makes time away from being surrounded by stalks.

Zhao's artistic works cover a wide range of subjects, including buildings, animals and objects like lanterns. Some standout examples of his work are an imposing and intricate model of a three-story building in the style of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and a small, delicate and exquisite grasshopper cage.

The works are mainly sold at various exhibitions around the country, or to customers who visit him after learning about his handicraft.

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