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Renovating carvings on ancient buildings in Wuyuan

2013-12-30 14:15:33



The town of Wuyuan, in East China's Jiangxi province, also dates back to over a thousand years ago. The town still retains many of its original features, including houses that are well preserved. But many buildings would have fallen into a state of disrepair had it not been for local efforts to renovate them.

Wuyuan is hailed as one of the best-preserved ancient towns in China. Most houses here were made with bricks and wood during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Since then, many have been damaged by the elements.

Hoards of tourists have visited the town over the past decade, since it was billed as one of the most beautiful in China. That gave birth to a new trade, repairing and restoring the architecture here.

46-year-old Jiang Guanghua is one of the artists renovating carvings on these buildings. Last May he brought his team here to the Huang Ling scenic spot in Wuyuan, to restore these ancient buildings. Many of the faces on these carvings were damaged during the Cultural Revolution. Jiang's job now is to carve a new face into the carvings, being sympathetic to the original.

Jiang says apart from carving experience, the knowledge of the building's history is a must.

After the carving is complete, it is polished and finished so as to best resemble the original. The artist says he is proud of the work he is able to do here, but is also concerned about the future of his trade. He says he hopes to pass on his skills to the next generation.