Between 1986 and 1989, Yang Xianrang, an oil painter and professor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, led a team of his students and scholars embark on 14 separate travels to the middle and lower regions along the Yellow River. They researched, collected and studied folk art still preserved by local people in the routines of their day-to-day life.
Yang turned his observations and conclusions into a three-volume elegy. Fourteen Walks Past the Yellow River, first published in 1993 by Han Sheng magazine and again in 2018 by Guangxi Normal University Press Group, catalogs different forms of folk art, many of which are dying today as their successors are aged or dead and few young people are willing to continue the art forms.
To further promote the enduring charm and value of folk art in the development of Chinese culture, an exhibition through Nov 19 is being held at the JIC Bookstore, in Beijing's Guomao area. On show are dozens of vintage paper-cuts, silver ornaments, cloth toys and embroideries collected from the villages which Yang and his team once visited.
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