Making modern masterpieces

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-05-31 07:48:29

Making modern masterpieces

Carver Lu Min works on registration. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

"So, even though the country advocates developing the 'spirit of a craftsman', we have to understand that 'to love it' is the perquisite.

"If you don't like what you do and consider it only as a job, you won't have the patience."

Woodblock printing by Rongbaozhai was among the first to be picked as a national-level intangible cultural heritage in 2006.

Earlier this month, during a UNESCO training program in Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, the Rongbaozhai techniques were chosen as an example of sustainable development of intangible cultural heritage.

Meanwhile, Zhao Huiping, 54, who has also been with Rongbaozhai for more than 30 years, is in charge of the final printing process. She sees the work as being in high demand these days.

"Everything we print has to be identical to the original masterpiece," she says.

"Nothing can be changed, and this leaves little room for creativity. Sometimes, we feel isolated from the outside world, but it is a must to stay focused."

But Zhao understands why the printer's creativity has to be sacrificed.

"These paintings are from top-tier masters, and that's why they are duplicated. If we add something of our own, it will be meaningless," she says.

She also likens the printing process to creating the original painting again.

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