111101) -- CHANGSHA, Nov. 1, 2011 (Xinhua) -- Nie Fangjun gazes at a paper "dragon head" he made at his studio in Fenghuang of central China's Hunan Province, Oct. 30, 2011. Nie Fangjun, 79, is a crafts master who makes excellent paper figures. Like other child who were born in a crafts family, Nie began to create his paper figures, a kind of bamboo-braced paper work, in his teenage years under the influence of his parents. Though this kind of traditional handicraft gradually declined decades ago, and some of the craftsmen in this trade even switched their careers. Nie Fangjun preserved his work. In recent years, this old crafts embraced a revival, and was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2008. Which bring Nie a grand stage to display his talent. The process of making the paper figures is demanding and time-consuming. With a total of 14 procedures such as formation and painting, the lifeless bamboo splits and papers became vivid animals and characters in folktales. Years of hard work left thick callus on Nie Fangjun's thumbs, but he still keeps the traditional hand-made crafts instead of using machines, because "traditional procedures can make the figures more vivid thus preserved the traditional flavor." Nie Fangjun is eager to teach other people the traditional art craft. His apprentice not only include his children, but also include other young people who are willing to learn, "I want them to carry forward and promote the traditional crafts." (Xinhua/Long Hongtao) (xzj)
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