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Arts and traditions

Dunhuang heritage still alive in new age

Updated: 2015-09-10
By Bi Nan ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Dunhuang heritage still alive in new age

Artist Gao Shan and his creations. [Photo by Qin Fengjing/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Coping murals can beautify them

Numerous painters are copying murals from the Mogao Grottoes, but Gao Shan's paintings will definitely impress. Entering his workshop, visitors have the illusion of being in one of the Mogao caves.

He draws on paper pasted to the wall to make it feel like painting a mural, and when finished, he can easily take it down. His paintings create the texture of murals, which feel more like relics rather than new creations. At the same time he replaces missing parts of the original figures and adjusts the characters' skin tone to make the overall painting more enjoyable to modern people's eyes.

The adjustments are not easy and he is exploring ceaselessly. Now he has eight apprentices, and one has been learning for 12 years. He is still studying himself and new challenges keep popping up.

"There are over 300 mural caves in the Mogao Grottoes, and I have only copied murals in less than one tenth of them yet", Gao says.

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