Craftsman increases value of potted landscapes tenfold
2018-03-01 17:27:00

A round of applause burst out after Xie Guihua, a skilled craftsman of potted landscapes, transformed an ordinary Buddhist pine worth about 100 yuan ($15.7) into an impressive miniature creation ten times the value during an exhibition in Nantong City, East China’s Jiangsu Province on Feb. 28.

Engaged in the occupation for 47 years, Xie is famous for creating the miniature landscape of high quality. It usually takes about eight to ten years to cultivate a remarkable Penjing, with prices ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of yuan.

The exhibition presents the designs of the Nantong school of Penjing, the ancient Chinese art of depicting artistically formed trees, other plants and landscapes in miniature. Regarded as a unique art form, Penjing enjoys a high reputation similar to poems, the paintings in literature. Nantong developed distinctive styles of Penjing in the 1980s, making it one of the seven major types in China, and created many masters who won awards at domestic and international contests.

Nantong today still boasts of talented Penjing masters who have made innovative progress in the traditional craft. The application of modern techniques replaces the hard plastics used in the past to make potted plants while design styles vary a great deal. Plant species are also more abundant nowadays, ranging from the conventional Buddhist pine to other trees including the elm and plum, while aluminum wire is increasing more popular than palm fiber thread to bind the plants.

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