Fujian craftsman 'restores' classic Suzhou gardens with bamboo cane

2021-11-18 Editor : Ji Xiang ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- With 2,000 bamboo canes, Chen Jinjie, a villager of Xiangtang, Xianyou County, built a model of classical Suzhou gardens.

Dropping out of junior high school due to financial reasons, Chen became a carpenter. He is 42 years old now and owns a classical craft furniture store. By chance, he realized he could build models depicting ancient architecture.

Since 2017, he has devoted himself to the cause, using bamboo cane to make disposable chopsticks. It usually takes him more than 6 months to build a work smaller than three square meters. Gradually, he found his market. From March, he started building the garden model without a drawn plan. In the model, mortise and tenon joints took the place of bolts and glue.

"I have to hold the 0.5-centimere-long bamboo cane in one hand and use the grinder to create a 45 degree angle (for a perfect match). It's hard to do so because the cane is too tiny," said Chen.

This model is Chen's fifth large-scale work, costing about ¥1,000 ($157). It is 160 centimeters long, 140 centimeters wide and 70 centimeters high, and weighs about 66 pounds. It is composed of 16 chambers. Although small in size, it is very exquisite, with all kinds of pavilions, terraces and courtyards.

In Chen's eyes, classical craft furniture combines traditional Chinese painting, sculpture and furniture production skills. As a craftsman, he is committed to carrying the craft forward and innovating on its form.


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