Crafting a future for traditional arts

By Xu Haoyu | China Daily | 2017-12-02 09:49

Crafting a future for traditional arts

Dao Fa Zi Ran (Tao Follows Nature) by Liu Xiaoping. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Root carving

Liu Xiaoping, a 47-year-old artist from Lishui city, Zhejiang province, has been practicing root carving for almost 30 years. He also participated in the 2017 World Leisure Expo.

He says that he always follows the principle of applying 30 percent human creation while maintaining 70 percent of the nature of the raw material to complete his works.

He invented flat carving, a process which gives rebirth to thin, hollow or flat roots by compressing them from all angles.

Dao Fa Zi Ran (Tao Follows Nature), Liu's magnum opus using the flat carving technique, is 80 cm high and 35 wide-but no more than 4 cm thick at its widest point.

In this work, Liu has perfectly taken advantage of the uneven depth of the material and skillfully structured the artwork to form a vivid facial expression combined with a figure-like posture.

Liu says, "As there aren't many quality raw materials, flat carving explores the possibility of flat roots which haven't been valued for what they are. From shaping it into an artwork, an artist can improve their ability in utilizing materials and sculpting."

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