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Lacquer craft for year of the dragon

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, January 22, 2012
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As the Chinese New Year approaches, lacquer craftwork is receiving more attention for its red color and traditional design. These pieces are being considered both lucky and appropriate for the coming Year of the Dragon.

The dragon, is a symbol of prosperity and power in Chinese culture, and can be brought vividly to life at the hands of a craftswoman. Wang Xiaofei designs and makes lacquerware. She also has her own boutique in Beijing.

Wang said, "Lacquer carving means carving lacquer into a work of art. The material is crude lacquer, which comes from plants. Usually it takes several months of brushing to make it thick enough to carve. Besides carving, we use other techniques like sanding and polishing. Not long ago, the industry lost popularity and many factories went bankrupt. "

However, now recognized as part of the country’s intangible cultural heritage, lacquer craftwork has bcome more popular again, with more people visiting Wang Xiaofei’s boutique.

Wang said, "Customers began ordering dragon-style objects before the new year, so we’ve made an artwork called Lucky Dragon with a copper base. We also made some practical artworks, like a clay pot with carved dragon patterns on it, as well as bracelets and accessories."

Wang’s works have become quite popular.

A customer said, "I like traditional designs."

Another customer said, "Traditional handicrafts are awesome."

Wang Xiaofei remembers people telling her that lacquer trees are indigenous to China, just as lacquer craft is to our culture.

Previously bought only by royalty and the rich, many Chinese can now afford to appreciate lacquer crafts at home. This trend is helping contribute to the revival of the ancient art.

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