Pic story: Xuan paper making craftsmen in Anhui pass down handicraft through generations

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-09 15:33:52|Editor: ZX
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Cao Jianqin makes Xuan paper at the Zijinlou Xuan paper factory in Jingxian County, Xuancheng City of east China's Anhui Province, Oct. 22, 2019. Xuan paper, traditional Chinese paper made in Jingxian County of Xuancheng City, has a history of more than 1,000 years. Going through over 100 procedures, the making of the paper costs at least one year to turn the material into the final product. Known for its distinguished craft, fine quality and long preserving time, the paper is loved by Chinese artists and calligraphers and is called "paper with life of one thousand years". Cao's family, a branch of Xuan paper making craftsmen in Jingxian, has passed down the handicraft through generations since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Cao Jianqin, born in 1963, the 27th generation of the Cao family, learnt the art after high school in 1980 from his father Cao Renjie, who was first taught the craft at the age of 13. In 1986, Cao Jianqin founded the Zijinlou Xuan paper factory in his hometown Jingxian, and three years later registered his own Xuan paper brand "Cao Family". Over 30 years, his factory has made dedicated Xuan paper for the repairing of Dunhuang remnant at the National Library of China, for the fixing of Qianlong Garden at the Forbidden City and for famous Chinese artists Qi Gong and Han Meilin. It also tried to restore the craft of traditional precious Xuan paper, which was granted the national invention patent. Cao Li, son of Cao Jianqin, has now become a good partner of his father in both of the making and selling of "Cao Family" Xuan paper. "I want to integrate the best of our time into the making of Xuan paper and make people know about it and pass it down in a better way," Cao Li said. (Xinhua/Liu Junxi)

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