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Tracing a golden legacy

Updated: 2024-02-27 07:51 ( CHINA DAILY )
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Zhang Yongzhen and Xi Wen's creations of cloisonne vessels feature traditional patterns and are inspired by ancient bronze ware. JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY

"There were about 30 students in the class, among them only three men," Zhang recalls.

"The technique requires patience and concentration. Imagine inserting the thin metal wires with small tweezers and repeating the movements thousands of times every day. It was very boring.

"But I still agreed to learn it and later worked at the same factory as my father since he believed the job was stable and guaranteed my livelihood. I listened to him."

Still, Zhang continued to seek other jobs in different departments of the company. He even worked abroad as a salesman, and as a trainer and manager at the factory.

"When I saw people were wowed by the technique, especially when I worked abroad, I started to rethink cloisonne. I didn't realize its beauty and value until I left it and observed it as an outsider," Zhang says.

"Now, I still love watching people in the factory making cloisonne, from the very beginning of designing the products to the final stage of polishing."

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