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Wenzhou's cultural heritage enthralls Europe

ezhejiang.gov.cn|Updated: May 24, 2024


Li Wei, inheritor of Pingyang lacquerware, leads exchange participants in a hands-on lacquer fan-making experience. [Photo/wzrb.com.cn]

Wenzhou's ancient craft of lacquerware took center stage in a cultural exchange across France and Hungary from May 13 to 15. The delegation from Zhejiang province introduced the vibrant art of Pingyang lacquerware, along with other intangible cultural heritages, to an international audience.

Li Wei, a fourth-generation lacquerware artisan, represented the city's heritage in France, engaging guests with interactive lacquer fan-making demonstrations. His mastery of the craft, which involves creating intricate patterns with lacquer on water, was a highlight, showcasing the beauty of Eastern traditions.

In Hungary, Li's lacquer bookmarks were a sensation, with all 200 pieces swiftly taken by eager participants. Despite language differences, the art transcended barriers, receiving acclaim from local Chinese communities and promoting Wenzhou's craftsmanship.

The art of lacquerware, dating back 8,000 years, reached its pinnacle in Wenzhou during the Song dynasty (960-1279). Wenzhou artisans began branding their works during this period with "Made in Wenzhou", a testament to their unmatched quality.

The Shuomen Ancient Port site in Wenzhou has unearthed several well-preserved lacquerware pieces to date, including petal-shaped lacquer boxes, dishes, and cup supports, proving that lacquerware was one of the main export commodities of Wenzhou during the Song Dynasty.

Today, the city's lacquerware continues to be a symbol of cultural pride and a beacon of traditional artistry in the modern world.

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