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Carving out a fruitful career

Updated: 2022-05-18 07:49 ( China Daily )
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Fruit pits, which follow a revolution theme, carved by artist Zhu Mengjia from Guangfu town, Suzhou, Jiangsu province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

With incredible skill and dexterity, artist conjures up miniature images on the stones of peaches, apricots and Chinese olives, Yang Feiyue reports.

Zhu Mengjia has found a new world in the smallest and unlikeliest of places: fruit pits. The 29-year-old from Guangfu town in Suzhou city, East China's Jiangsu province, has been sculpting ingenious creations out of the challengingly hard, tiny and rugged pits over the years.

With her touch, as if by magic, vivid images of animals, plants, boats and garden views emerge.

Examined using a magnifying glass, the delicate sculptures on the fruit pits still look vivid, confirming her flawless technique.

"I usually spend five hours a day working on them," Zhu says.

But when things get busy, she has to toil away for more than 10 hours without a break.

Guangfu fruit pit carving was named a national intangible cultural heritage in 2008.

Earliest examples of the art form date back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279).The Chinese folk handicraft enjoyed rising popularity in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, when the royal families wore the carvings as an aristocratic decoration.

The pits of peach, apricot, walnut, and Chinese olive are the most prevalently used, and upon which minute images of Buddha, nature, or the Chinese zodiac that are said to repel evil spirits, are carved.

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