75-year-old master in Sichuan Province shows the art of bamboo weaving
2018-06-27 15:42:00

China has listed bamboo weaving as national intangible cultural heritage. The Ministry of Culture named Qingshen County in Sichuan Province the home of the art. The area has produced many bamboo weaving masters. One of them is 75-year-old Chen Yunhua. CGTN's Hou Na visited him to learn how this craft is being preserved.

This is an art of extreme delicacy. Chen Yunhua is the crème de la crème of the business. But he started as a humble street craftsmen.

CHEN YUNHUA BAMBOO WEAVING MASTER "When I was very young, I realized that bamboo weaving could bring wealth and change my life."

By the age of 15, he was well known in the village as a "handy guy", supporting his family by weaving bamboo.

In 1968, along with other villagers, Chen started the first bamboo weaving workshop in Qingshen County. This became the origin of the county's bamboo industry. But his vision went far beyond the small town.

CHEN YUNHUA BAMBOO WEAVING MASTER "It was 1972, when U.S. President Richard Nixon visited China. That's when our bamboo weaving products first came to the world stage."

From painting, calligraphy, packaging and furniture, over the past four decades, Chen and his team have been granted over 20 patents, and their handicrafts have gone global. Now he's busy passing on the art so his fellow villagers can make a living from it.

CHEN YUNHUA BAMBOO WEAVING MASTER "Bamboo weaving is a constant rising industry. We will not stop innovating and making new products to meet the demands of different people in the world."

Chen says bamboo represents the core spirit of Chinese culture. In 2008, he builta bamboo weaving museum. It has given the industry a broader space for development, attracting a large number of tourists to visit and shop.

Over the past 40 years, he has run more than 500 training courses and trained tens of thousands of people.

HOU NA MEISHAN, SICHUAN PROVINCE "This bamboo strand is so thin, and it requires a lot of skills and patience to finish one piece."

In Qingshen County alone, more than 30,000 farmers have raised their income through bamboo weaving; the annual income in the region now ranges from RMB30,000 (5000 U.S. dollars ) to more than RMB200,000 ( some 33,000 U.S. Dollars.)

But Chen isn't satisfied, his aim is to make the art thrive wherever bamboo grows.

Source:CGTN Editor:Hiram