Foshan China 2021-01-09
At the beginning of 2021, Foshan intangible cultural heritages have attracted wide social attention in the country. These ancient crafts not only brighten the festive days, but also represent Foshan people's yearning for a better life.
On the evening of the New Year’s Day, Foshan woodcut Chinese New Year pictures, Foshan paper-cut, Nanhai gold foil and other intangible cultural heritage projects were aired in the "Craftsmanship" program of "Exploration and Discovery” on CCTV 10. Liu Zhongping, Rao Baolian, and Wu Shenlong, inheritors of intangible cultural heritages, became the protagonists of the 39th Foshan episode "Lingnan Flavor". In addition, recently, 48 intangible cultural heritage documentaries have been released in the exhibition area of China Memory Project Center of National Library, including the record of Chen Yongcai, the sole selected inheritor of national intangible cultural heritage--- Foshan paper-cut.
What are the stories behind the inheritors of Foshan intangible cultural heritages? Come with us.
Heroine of woodcut New Year pictures replicated “Foshan Qiuse” in memory of her master
With the preference for ancient craftsmanship, Liu Zhongping changed her career into the field of woodcut Chinese New Year pictures in Foshan. After years of study, last year, she planned to replicate the masterpiece called "Foshan Qiuse" in memory of her deceased master.
"My master had told me that the key point of carving is to be careful," Liu said in the program. She admitted that in order to finish this work, she was extremely careful on every move using the knife, so that the work could be consistent with her master's manuscript as much as possible. This process needs to show the joys and sorrows of the characters in limited space, and keep the lines simple and smooth. Once making a mistake, all the previous efforts will be meaningless.
Liu said that Foshan woodcut Chinese New Year pictures used red, green, yellow and other large color blocks to overprint, making the picture magnificent and colorful, which was one of the indispensable Chinese New Year items for Foshan people to celebrate the Spring Festival in the past.
Master and apprentice co-created largest copper chisel paper-cut “Eight New Landscapes of Foshan”
At present, 80-year-old Chen Yongcai, engaged in making crafts since 1960, is a craftsman who has been engaged in Foshan paper-cut for the longest time. He has created large-scale paper-cuts such as "Qiuse Competition" and "Ancient Town Foshan".
In 2010, he collaborated with his apprentice Rao Baolian to create the copper chisel paper-cut "Eight New Landscapes of Foshan", which is 2.66 meters long with the integration of representative landscapes and cultural elements of Foshan. Chen Yongcai said that it is the largest copper chisel paper-cut in China and even the world.
When creating, Rao almost held her breath in order to get the lines done smoothly. "The beauty of the copper chisel paper-cut lies in the dots struck on the copper foil, which are chiseled and convex, but not broken. Each pattern of the eight landscapes of Foshan is different. Therefore, in order to achieve a gradual change of colors in tiny space, it must be accurate in color matching and meticulous in color filling," Rao said.
饶宝莲 Rao Baolian
Paste gold foils on ox-shaped pottery to bless a fortunate New Year
Wu Shenlong, a provincial inheritor of Nanhai gold foil forging skill, has been learning gold foil forging skill from his father since he was 18. "Hammering is the most difficult step in gold foil production. The strength and direction of the hammering should be accurate. If you beat too hard, the gold sheet will be cracked. However, if the power is not sufficient, the gold sheet will stick together." said Wu. He mentioned that in the past, the skill was only inherited inside families. In recent years, Wu Shenlong has set up public classes, aiming to break down barriers and let more people learn about this craftsmanship.
In addition to pasting gold foils on the Buddha statues for temples, Wu Shenlong and his son have also expanded the application scope of gold foils and tried to develop some small gold foil ornaments, such as combs, bookmarks, pendants, etc. In the year of the Ox, Wu Shenlong has pasted gold foils on a type of ox-shaped pottery to turn it into a golden ox, which was highly praised.