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Beauty of reduction

Artists revolutionize woodblock printing and provide a lifeline for their village, Hou Chenchen and Li Yingqing report in Pu'er.

By Hou Chenchen and Li Yingqing | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-25 10:55
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Woodblock prints created by local farmers mostly depict the rural scenery in Nakeli village in Pu'er, Yunnan province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"Farmers' paintings are boldly expressive, offering a unique perspective on farming, daily life and traditions," Leng says. "They employ vivid shapes and colors freely, creating dynamic compositions."

Today hotels, homestays and restaurants in Nakeli proudly display farmers' woodblock prints, showcasing their rich multicultural heritage to visitors and guests.

While celebrating the success of farmer woodblocks, Leng points out the absence of a sustainable long-term framework, given the prints' appeal and profitability. Moves are afoot to offer free spaces for farmers to learn woodblock and engage in regular creative activities, he says, and to develop markets.

In addition to innovation with subjects covered, there have been technological advances to tackle problems such as the moisture that plays havoc with prints in Puer's subtropical climate. Leng has set up a greenhouse to provide the ideal environmental conditions required for precise printing.

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