JIANCHUAN, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Jianchuan County, located in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture of southwest China's Yunnan Province, has a long history in woodcarving dating back to the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. The carving skills gradually developed from one-layer relief to even seven-layer hollowing relief, are now applied to making architecture parts, wooden furniture, wall paintings and tourism souvenirs. A high-standard "Four Screens", usually costing several months to create, is a distinctive displaying example of the craft that requires high-level carving skills. In 2011, Jianchuan woodcarving was listed as one of China's national-level intangible cultural heritages.
Duan Sixing, born in a woodcarving family in Jianchuan County, was deeply edified since childhood by his father and grandfather who were all excellent carpenters. After graduating from middle school, Duan was enrolled into a vocational school for systematical woodcarving training. "For a new hand, it takes at least three years of sound study to get in touch with the core skills. " Duan said. In 2011, Duan took his woodcarving work to participate in an exhibition of Chinese woodcarving at the National Museum of China. In 2014, he brought his Jianchuan woodcarving work to take part in a promotion event of Yunnan Province at the Palace of Nations in Geneva of Switzerland.
Duan was acknowledged as the national-level intangible cultural heritage inheritor of Jianchuan woodcarving in 2018. In an aim to promote the art, he has set up a Jianchuan woodcarving institute at his hometown, and also cooperated with art colleges, encouraging his apprentices to make new creations on the basis of the tradition. "We plan to integrate woodcarving into people's daily life by making creative artworks, so that more people can appreciate Jianchuan woodcarving craft, " said Duan, who is confident in the future of the craft. So far, there are more than 20,000 people engaged in the profession in Jianchuan.
Producers: Wang Jianhua, Wang Changshan
Planners: Wang Qingqin, Zhu Weixi, Wang Haijing
Journalists: Jiang Wenyao, Hu Chao
Editors: Wang Qingqin, Wang Haijing, Zhu Weixi, Zhao Yusi, Zhang Keren, Liu Lingyi, Chen Liqun
Video Editor: Tian Weiwei
Produced by Xinhua Global Service