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US photographer experiences Yueqing boxwood carving

ALMS|Updated: March 11, 2022

Watch the video to learn about Roman Meisenberg's exploration of boxwood carving in Yueqing city, Wenzhou. [Video/Wenzhou Overseas Media Center]

It is so common to see wood in our daily life that we almost forget how extraordinary this natural material can be.

In this video, we will follow Roman Meisenberg, an American photographer living in Wenzhou, as he visits the city of Yueqing to explore the artistic side of wood.

In the experienced hands of Gao Gongbo, remarkable figurines are made out of nothing but some basic tools and a few pieces of wood.

Gao has over 50 years of experience in Yueqing-style boxwood carving, an intangible cultural heritage item which has a history of over 300 years and was included in the first group of national intangible cultural heritage items.

"Every piece of wood has its own life and is eager to communicate with us. I just want to show people that what is in front of us is not only a piece of wood, but a call from the inner soul," Gao said.

Gao's boxwood is shipped from Shennongjia Forestry District in Central China's Hubei province. Characterized by its tough texture and fine grain, the wood is particularly suitable for carving figurines.

Gao introduced the processes of carving boxwood works and also invited Meisenberg to try his hand at making one on his own.

"It's truly fascinating to watch Gao working with wood. His skilled craftsmanship is like magic," Meisenberg said.

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