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Foreigners appreciate the charm of gourd art in Shandong

2019/7/18 15:29:09   source:sdchina.com

The craft of gourd extruding is not only one of main techniques of gourd decoration, but also embodies the wisdom and culture of ancient Chinese people. It is a treasure of the folk art. Recently, foreigners from countries including Bangladesh, Cameroon, Niger, Algeria, Laos and Benin learned to engrave and extrude gourds in Baihuazhou historical and cultural block in Jinan.

Upon arriving at Banmo Ju, a workshop of gourd art, the foreigners were attracted by the various artworks made of gourds. Guo Wenxuan, a folk artist of gourd extruding and engraving, briefed the foreigners the historical background and development process of gourd art. "The pronunciation of gourd in Chinese sounds like 'fulu', which means happiness and prosperity. It is an auspicious symbol," said Guo, "The artworks of gourd imply people's desire for a better life."

Guo made a brief introduction of the basic materials for gourd engraving. The large gourds are usually used to engrave figures and landscape; gourds with slender waists can be used for carving flowers, birds, fish, insects and animals while oblate gourds are often dyed red and then engraved or hollowed out as cages for grasshoppers and crickets.

These three kinds of gourds can also be processed into decorative arts and crafts as well as cups, plates, bowls, boxes, pen containers, snuff bottles, etc.

After the introduction, Guo and Gao Xiang, a folk artist of colored gourd engraving began to teach the foreigners how to extrude gourds. After drawing patterns on the surface of the gourd, Guo and Gao instructed them how to use carving knives to carve relief patterns through pressing, calendering, pushing, squeezing and scraping.

Ali, from Niger, drew his Chinese name "a li" on the gourd. The teachers asked him jokingly "does your name have anything to do with Alibaba?" Ali laughed loudly after hearing and painted the Chinese characters "ba ba" just after his name "a li". People at the scene were doubled over with laughter.

Cabrel, from Cameroon, carved not only his name on the gourd but also the Chinese characters "wu zhe". "I am very excited. Through this activity, I learned about a new artistic form and my horizon was broadened ", he said.

Richard is an overseas student from Benin. He is now studying financial mathematics at Shandong University. He carved two equations on the gourd, one is backward stochastic differential equation and the other is schrodinger equation. "It seems that you are an excellent student in Science", praised the teacher.

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