Folk artist dedicates lifetime to New Year wood-block painting | 2017-05-16 07:00

Folk artist dedicates lifetime to New Year wood-block painting

It took Zhang about half a month to finish this wood-block, featuring patterns of dancing lions. [Photo/VCG]

Zhang Liansheng, a 72-year-old man from the Kaifeng city of Henan province, is a folk artist dedicated to creating New Year wood-block paintings. He started to learn and practice his technique from the early age of eight, and has, so far, created more than 1,800 pieces of wood-block paintings. Zhang, who runs a workshop in Zhuxian town of Kaifeng, is the fifth generation to inherit and carry on work at the workshop.

New Year wood-block paintings in Zhuxian town is the originator in the painting category, and is within the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage. The practise is favored by many kinds of people, due to its bold style and rich vitality.

Zhang, who has more than 20 apprentices at his workshop, plans to pass on the craft to the younger generation in his family, and also to others willing to learn.

One of the most critical, and difficult part in making a New Year wood-block painting is the process of engraving. A creator needs to have a steady hand, as an image is usually carved with a knife on pearwood. Before this process can be done, however, the wood needs to be soaked in cold water, then boiled in hot water and dipped in oil.

New Year wood-block paintings, made by Zhang, are also some of the finest pieces money can buy, and have been exported to a range of buyers across the nation and overseas.

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