Artisan rediscovers his pride and passion

By Hou Liqiang and Li Yingqing in Jianchuan, Yunnan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-06-19 07:06:28

Zhang Shuhua has been building traditional houses since he was 14. However, the low wages for such hard work mean most of his peers have quit the profession, and few younger people are taking it up.

For the 52-year-old resident of a village in Shaxi township, Jianchuan county, Yunnan province, carpentry was only a means of earning a living and before 2002, he felt little sense of pride in the work. He certainly never imagined that his skills would win him the honor of being called a great master in the renovation of ancient buildings by UNESCO officials.

Zhang was one of five men apprenticed to his master, but he is the only one still doing the job: "The wages are too low. Some people quit just two or three years after they started to learn. The others quit when they got married as a result of the economic pressure of supporting their families."

Artisan rediscovers his pride and passion

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