GreatSeed Tour Rediscovers Forgotten Paper-making Techniques

  • A visit to the oiled paper umbrella village in Yunnan province

    Fifty kilometers from Tengchong county in Northwestern Yunnan province lies Xingyang village, a village with a nearly 300-year history of making handcrafted oiled paper umbrellas.

    According to elderly villagers, the technique of umbrella making originated from Sichuan province. In the Qing Dynasty (1636 - 1912), a Xingyang local learned it from two Sichuan umbrella traders in Tengchong, and brought it back to the village. Since then, Xingyang villagers used local materials such as reeds and bamboo to carry on and develop the traditional technique during their slack season.
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    October 31, 2015
  • Miao people celebrate as old art meets new medium

    • By GreatSeed

    On the eve of Miao New Year, which fell on Thursday, Kala village in Danzhai county, Southeastern Guizhou province, witnessed a previously unseen example of art creation.

    Contemporary artists of the "Paper Culture along the Silk Road" project, organized by intangible cultural heritage online community Great Seed, painted graffiti artworks with four traditional Miao craftswomen on apertures of a bridge near the village. Read More

    October 30, 2015
  • Museum of Handcraft Paper in a Yunnan village

    • By GreatSeed

    Located in a field next to Xinzhuang village at the foot of Gaoligong Mountain in Northwestern Yunnan province, the Museum of Handcraft Paper looks different from any other construction in the village, but in accord with the local environment and landscape.
    Designed by Beijing Trace Architecture Office (TAO) and completed in early 2012, the museum is conceived as a micro-village, a cluster of several small buildings. All the buildings are designed with the traditional Chinese wood structural system featuring nail-less Sun Mao (tenon) connections, which can be skillfully built by local builders. Local materials such as fir wood, bamboo, volcano stone and handcrafted paper were used for the exterior finish - the roof, floor and interior finish, respectively. As time passed, these materials became worn and faded into a more harmonious color with the landscape, suggesting a time worn feel to the buildings. Read More

    October 29, 2015
  • A Day with a Dongba Family in Shangri-la

    • By GreatSeed
    Baidi village is widely considered to be the origin of the Dongba culture. Baidi village is widely considered to be the origin of the Dongba culture.

    To explore the traditional techniques of Dongba hand-made paper, representatives of Great Seed, an intangible cultural heritage online community, lived with a Dongba family for two days in Baidi village in Shangri-la, Southwest China's Yunnan province. They recorded the whole papermaking process as well as the family's daily life.

    Dongba, literally meaning "wise man", plays a major role in Nakhi people's lives and culture. They are intellectuals with wide knowledge, covering fields like music, dance, classics, writing, history, painting, medicine and fortune-telling. He Zhiben, nearly 90 years old, is the only Dongba of the Badi village. He lives with the family of his youngest son.

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    October 23, 2015
  • New Documentary to Disclose China's Paper Culture

    • By GreatSeed

    Great Seed began production on its new documentary titled Paper Culture Along the Silk Road in Beijing on Tuesday.

    The project which explores the origins and development of Chinese papermaking technology is scheduled to last 13 days and to visit five locations of ancient papermaking in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Hunan, covering a journey of 5000 kilometers.

    The video series focuses on traditional craftsmanship of Chinese papermaking, the role and preservation of ancient papermaking technology in the digital age, as well as the innovation and artistry of hand-made paper.

    Great Seed is a start-up aiming to build an online community to preserve the world's intangible cultural heritage.

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    October 22, 2015
  • GreatSeed Tour Rediscovers Forgotten Paper-making Techniques

    LeiZhang

    LeiZhang

    Sr. Content Editor

    Artists, scholars and fans who share the passion for traditional paper-making will make a 13-day tour from October 20 to five paper mills in south China’s Yunnan, Guizhou and Hunan provinces. They will visit Yunnan’s Shangri La, Tengchong, Guizhou’s Danzhai, Hunan’s Tantou and Leiyang where craftspeople still use old techniques to make paper by hand.

    The project, initiated by GreatSeed, a Beijing start-up devoted to the revival of Chinese folk art, and to boost global awareness of the lost traditional cultures in order to keep artisan skills alive. Short documentaries will be made and aired internationally in both Chinese and English to record the tour.

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    October 20, 2015
  • GreatSeed Founder Urges More Growth for Chinese Arts

    • By GreatSeed

    "We all have a dream to revive and preserve, more importantly, we need to discover our own value in the transformation of folk art through great motivation and action," Deng said.

     

    In her October 2 address to the first folk art and crafts forum of Beijing Design Week (BJDW) at Gotrues Art Trade Center in Beijing, Deng Jiawen introduced GreatSeed’s role and mission in preserving and promoting Chinese traditional culture through art and creativity. GreatSeed, an independent company, is building a global community for folk artists and fans, said Deng, who aired a short video that captured the essence and beauty of craftsmanship that delighted many.

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    October 2, 2015
  • GreatSeed a Finalist for US Artisan Enterprise Multimedia Award

    • By GreatSeed

    AAE_media

    GreatSeed Inc. was a finalist for the 2015 Artisan Enterprise Multimedia Competition Friday. The award was presented by Catherine M. Russell, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, and Peggy Clark, Executive Director of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, Aspen Institute at Loy Henderson Auditorium, Washington DC.
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    September 11, 2015
  • GreatSeed Plants Appreciation for Chinese Arts on US Tour

    GreatSeed led eleven renowned Chinese artisans from eight provinces on tour along the US East Coast on April 10, spurring a bumper crop for Chinese folk arts.

    Entitled “Slow Made in China”, the 10-day road show aimed to "transmit cultural DNA" with a wide range of arts and crafts including Tibetan, Hmong, Suzhou and Manchu embroidery, quilting arts, woodblock prints, paper cutting and olive nut carving, Beijing clay opera masks, Qingyang sachet sewing and silver-inlaid black copper.
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