In recent years, Foshan’s national intangible cultural heritages (ICH) have been challenged with an urgent mission of heritance and development. Local authorities have come up with various ways to empower these time-honored arts to thrive in modern days.
In September 2020, a large-scale upgrading project was kicked off to renovate master studios in the city. Thanks to concerted efforts, three key art forms were put high on agenda, namely, paper-cutting, wooden block print (themed on Chinese New Year) and Foshan Qiuse, as taken charged of by inheritors Feng Bingtang, Chen Yongcai and He Xin respectively in their studios.
In addition to incorporating major catalogs from the three art masters, the studios were also highligted with their life experience, artistic styles and trajectory of preservation. Rather than merely function as art galleries, they are now run as a platform for collection, training and business.
On the design level, original styles were retained as the outside was coated with antique blue bricks. Interiorly, more collected pieces have been put on display and cultural and creative products are now on sales. At its best capacity, the studios are able to hold sessions of 30 to 40 people.
Given a closer look, visitor might notice the technical wisdoms embraced in the workshop.
Based on masters habits during their creation process, the wall is waterproof and a couple of cabinets were in place for storage, an effective solution to a lack of room space and moisture that bothered them for long.
Sharing with excitement, Chen Yongcai pointed out some courses that are coming soon. Thats the most direct way that allows the general public to know and spark creativity out of national intangible cultural heritages in Foshan. He wished these arts would not only be passed down for generations, but also be given more new profound implications from the times were living.
Art exhibition hall at He Xins studio
Author | Jersey
Revisor | Ivy, Jessica
Photo | Foshan Daily