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Fengxiang New Year Woodblock Prints

Fengxiang New Year Woodblock Prints

Located in the western region of the Guanzhong plain in Shaanxi, Fengxiang County is a renowned place of producing New Year woodblock print. According to the records of Tai Family of Nanshaoli Village in Fengxiang County, they have engaged in this ancient industry since the second year of Zhengde Period (1506-1521) of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), lasting for almost 20 generations. By 1950, there were still more than 690 types, with  customs, traditional operas, folk stories and myths, which have a total production and sales volumes of 6 million. The Fengxiang woodblock printings are engraved manually and printed. After a series of processes, the worker dyes the print locally in golden and silver to show a strong contrast between the colors. The woodblock prints remain the artistic styles of simple and natural in ancient prints, and spread in most areas such as Shaanxi Province, Gansu Province, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Qinghai Province and even Sichuan Province, favored by people.

However, it has been in danger of being extinct since the 1960s. In 1978, the third generation of inheritors of Fengxiang New Year wood block prints, Taiyi, established the Fengyi New Year prints group to excavate, sort, research and copy ancient print, thus, the traditional art form was preserved and protected. After 1984, the eldest son of Taiyi, Tai Liping took over the prints and strove to preserve and protect the woodblock prints as his father did. Thanks to Tai Liping, two volumes of Fengxiang New Year Wood block Prints have been published, and he was awarded by local government for his efforts.

Today, there are only a few people can master the prints making skills, and Tai Liping is the only one who can conduct the creation and research on woodblock prints. As a result, it demands for saving and protecting urgently.