Craftsman in Shanxi devoted to straw painting

2021-08-27 Editor : Zhang Dongfang ECNS App Download
Straw painting of the Shilou Bay of the Yellow River created by Bai Wenping. (Photo provided to China News Service by Bai Wenping)

(ECNS) -- Bai Wenping, 52, from Shilou County, Shanxi Province, showed his straw painting depicting the Shilou Bay of the Yellow River, on Thursday.

This one-meter long painting took him more than half a month to create. "I want to show people the well-known scenic spot in my hometown through straw painting," said Bai.

Straw painting is a unique folk handicraft in China, which originated in the Central Plains. Straw with a fine gloss is a good material for decoration and has strong artistic appeal.

"My hometown has the tradition of making straw paintings. I've seen elders make them, but now there are too few people mastering this skill and their works are usually limited to single themes like the Chinese zodiac," said Bai. He was once shocked by the paintings on TV after finishing high school and then began to teach himself to make straw paintings.

Straw needs to be steamed, spoiled, scraped, rolled—a dozen steps in total—before creation, and every step should be done carefully, said Bai.

His works, which integrate techniques of traditional Chinese paintings, paper-cuttings, carving and other arts, have gradually opened the market.

"Straw is environmentally friendly and finished paintings won't degenerate and fade for a long time. Straw paintings can also show the content of typical paintings," said Bai.

These kind of paintings are often used to decorate homes, meeting rooms and shops, according to Bai. His works range in price from several thousand yuan to tens of thousands.

Bai has trained more than 30 straw painting lovers, hoping that young people with basic fine art skills will engage in this career.


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