Ancient birch bark craft enjoys revival under tutor

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-11-21 09:21
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Tao's birch bark work. [PHOTO BY QIU QILONG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

"Before I create a work of art, I sense the potential for finding 'mountains' and 'rivers' on the bark," says Tao, adding that every piece of birch tells a story and inspires her creativity.

To improve her skills and find more inspiration, Tao visited several ethnic communities in the Greater Hinggan Mountains and other parts of North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, where the art form continues to thrive.

Birch bark craftsmanship was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2006, and Tao was recognized as a provinciallevel inheritor of the craft two years later.

To pass on her skills, Tao began offering free classes in primary schools and provided free training for students in vocational schools. Over the years, she has trained hundreds of young people in the craft.

In 2017, Tao was invited to work as an associate professor in the College of Fine Arts and Design at Heihe University.

College student Ma Mingyu says he fell in love with birch bark craft after learning about it from Tao.

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