Inheritance of joy and centuries-old craft

Updated: 2016-02-23 07:49

By Liu Xiangrui(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Inheritance of joy and centuries-old craft

Guo Taiyun demonstrates his skills in making woodblock prints in a museum in Kaifeng, Henan province. [Photo by Liu Xiangrui/China Daily]

After his apprenticeship, Guo left the shop to open his own small workshop.

"It was a good business. I could support my family of seven for the entire year by working for only three months."

"Even the poorest families would put up New Year pictures, which were even more important than having good meals," Guo recalls.

But as the industry slowed down after the 1950s, Guo moved on to other livelihoods. In the early 1980s, when the government took steps to protect the craft, he and other professionals were invited to work on a project that aimed to collect, repair and sort the woodblocks and other materials related to the craft from different periods.

By writing a detailed account of the craft, the group helped in protecting the endangered art. The work was praised by many scholars, including Feng Jicai, a famous writer.

In the past few years, Guo has won many honors for his techniques and contributions to the craft, including being named a representative inheritor of national-level intangible cultural heritages by the Culture Ministry in 2007.

Some of his works have been collected by art institutions like the National Art Museum of China and the Capital Museum. He has also been invited by foreign countries, such as Singapore and the United States, for exhibitions, performances and cultural exchanges to promote the craft internationally.