I am always fascinated by the men who contribute to the past and rebuilt it in their own version. Chinese architecture is considered one of the best in the world and specially the detailing they go to their wood crafting among many other known talents.
On September 10th 2019 a huge massive artwork was on display on Yuanhong Museum in Hai’an City, east China’s Jiangsu Province.A total of 30 wood carving craftsmen are busy with their latest work by replicating the ancient Chinese painting ‘Along the River During the Qingming Festival’ on a trunk as a gift to celebrate the upcoming 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in the eastern city of Hai’an. The craftsman were leaded by Chinese artist Zheng Chunhui. The most interesting part of this craft was it was built in big Burma padauk trunk which measures 18 meters long, 1.5 meters in diameters and weighs over 20 tonnes. The original painting depicted the daily life of people and the landscape of the capital, Bianjing during the Northern Song. The theme is often said to celebrate the festive spirit and worldly commotion at the Qingming Festival, rather than the holiday’s ceremonial aspects, such as tomb sweeping and prayers.
Artist Zheng Chunhui, along with his craftsmen were so successful in catching the theme of the original painting and to the detailing and their incredible hand skills.Standing more than 40 feet long, almost 8 feet wide, and, at one point, 10 feet tall, the massive work of art was formed out of just one single log and was recently declared the world’s longest wood sculpture by the Guinness Book of World Records. The whole work took them over 4 years of painstaking work of blood, sweat and tears and definitely the whole outcome was worth a million of stars.
The painting originally painted 900 years ago, during the re imagination the scenes are so beautiful in details showing of the lives of both rich and poor people living in the town. The most interesting part is while replicating such a famous painting, many artists tend to add their own modern touch and devise the art of those ancient scenes. However, Zeng Chunnai strictly struck to the culture from a millennium ago. He focused in the small houses, boats and even added tiny 550 of the human sculptures as if they are doing their daily rituals.
I hope the same can be learned by us Nepalese who are no doubt very talented in such work and with the help of the right authorities they can replicate and preserve the declining this work of art. There are many such wood works that in need of being saved, or else they might not see another generation to tell the tale.