A thread of culture knits the past to the present

By Yang Feiyue | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-08 08:05
Share - WeChat
A buhu painting for wall hanging, featuring butterfly and orchids. [Photo provided to China Daily]

To date, Hao has explored many innovative techniques of her own, and managed to deliver stunning examples of the art, especially those featuring the Great Wall and mountain landscapes.

However, her major focus has been on broadening the scope of this art form to ensure better inheritance and development, which she says is important, especially because machinery cannot fully replace manual work, with many elaborate techniques, such as pleating and 3D pasting.

"Such steps can only be done well by experienced craftsmen with a deep understanding of structural changes, as well as the evolving techniques," Hao says.

In 2018, when she learned that the county was establishing an intangible cultural heritage workshop to alleviate poverty, Hao wasted no time in starting to train local rural women in the art of buhu paintings.

She has managed to arrange several training sessions for more than 300 rural residents, while establishing an intangible cultural heritage workshop to offer ongoing training and employment opportunities for impoverished individuals.

This initiative has increased the annual income of impoverished households by more than 5,000 yuan ($699).

"To master the entire process is indeed challenging, and it requires tremendous patience and attention to detail," Hao says.

To ensure that rural students stay the course, Hao has students first focus on cloth pasting and assembling.

"As long as they meet the requirements, they will receive wages," Hao says.

This quick realization of income helped spark enthusiasm among the rural residents.

Zhao Shuyun, a local villager in her 50s, has followed Hao and has been making buhu paintings for the past few years.

"I started late, and can only paste some simple works," says Zhao, who runs a small grocery shop.

"It's nice that I can still make more than 8,000 yuan during the winter period, when I used to idle away the time at home," Zhao says, adding that she also takes delight in the fact that many of her friends have joined the trade and made the time working on the art very enjoyable.

Hao also started to make a point of publicizing the art at local schools, where she stages buhu painting class and interacts with students.

Learning tours to her workshop have also been arranged, and she has welcomed more than 5,000 students so far.

"Now, some schools in Fengning have incorporated intangible cultural heritage into their curriculum, and buhu painting has become a fixed elective course," Hao says.

It has given her confidence in the inheritance and promotion of the art.

"I hope my efforts can plant the seeds of intangible cultural heritage in the hearts of the next generation," she says.

On the other hand, Hao has kept coming up with ideas to integrate the art with items that cater to modern consumer tastes.

She has managed to develop accessories, ornaments, tabletop decorations, and bags, all carrying the buhu painting elements.

In particular, Hao has collaborated with fashion brands to make costumes using buhu painting techniques, and has caused a sensation at various events, such as the China Fashion Week.

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next   >>|

Related Stories

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349