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Impressions of Wenzhou: People of excellence, land of wisdom (3)

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    18:10, September 04, 2020

3. Home to the arts

Wenzhou woodbox sculpture. (People's Daily Online/He Zhuoyan)

Wenzhou is rich in local artistic traditions, and has cultivated a wide variety of colourful folk culture and arts. A total of 34 kinds of folk art have been listed as national intangible cultural heritages, four of which have been included in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list.

Ou embroidery with different patterns on both sides. (People's Daily Online/He Zhuoyan)

Of all the Wenzhou intangible cultural heritages, Ou embroidery is one of the most exquisite. It is distinguished by its simple pattern, rich texture, multiple variety of stitches, smooth and lustrous surface, as well as its balanced colour and bright tones. These art works were originally used for daily life, such as birthday silk scrolls for elderly people and opera costumes. But in modern times, Ou embroidery has become a decorative art, with Ou embroidery masters further developing the traditional techniques that allow them to create different patterns on both sides.

Ou sculpture. (People's Daily Online/He Zhuoyan)

Another traditional Wenzhou art is Ou sculpture, which is a kind of clay relief sculpture based on traditional Chinese layered-painting. As a result of this technique, it has become known as Oriental stereoscopic oil painting, or coloured relief. Clay is combined with oil, which is then coloured by traditional paint. In modern times, the art form incorporates Western and Chinese painting techniques, and has evolved into a thoroughly contemporary genre.


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