Wuqiang Wood Engraving New Year Picture

Home Culture 2019-06-30

Wuqiang Wood Engraving New Year Picture

Wuqiang New Year's Painting is one of the traditional folk crafts in Wuqiang County, Hebei Province. It is named for its origin in Wuqiang County, Hebei Province. It is a unique style of Chinese folk painting, with strong local flavor and local characteristics. Wuqiang New Year's Picture is a folk art developed under the influence of primitive farming methods, Buddhist ideas, traditional concepts and ancient national habits. Its rich composition, rough lines, bright colors, exaggerated decoration, strong Festival features, is the best in the folk New Year pictures. In addition to a large number of folk themes, Wuqiang New Year's Picture pays more attention to reflecting major changes in the times, in order to express people's concern for state affairs and good expectations for life.

Wuqiang New Year Picture has formed its own unique style and genre through the painstaking management of artists in past dynasties. It is comparable with Tianjin Yangliu Youth Picture, Shandong Weifang New Year Picture, Jiangsu Taohuawu New Year Picture, Sichuan Mianzhu New Year Picture and Henan Zhuxian Town New Year Picture. It has been praised as a symbol of Hebei Art. It is well known both at home and abroad for its profound folk customs and unique national artistic style.

History of Development

The emergence of Wuqiang New Year Picture can be traced back to the Yuan Dynasty. It is believed that it was designated as the Song and Yuan Dynasties. The term "New Year Picture" began in the 29th year of Qingdaoguang.

In the early Ming Dynasty, Wuqiang New Year's Paintings had a fairly high level of modelling design and engraving, and had reached a mature stage.

The development of Wuqiang New Year Pictures into the Qing Kangyu and Jiaqing years, social stability, prosperity of all walks of life, provides a good environment for the development of New Year Pictures. At this time, the production of Wuqiang New Year's Pictures centered around Nanguan County, radiating 68 villages around them. Many farmers took New Year's Pictures as a sideline, most of them were busy farming and leisure printing. Nanguan, Wuqiang County, has become the largest New Year's Painting Distribution Center in the country. The famous painters are Tianyuhe, Wanxing Heng, Ningtai and Taixing. After these four masters, eight famous painters, Xiangshun, Delong, Dongdaxing, Yishengchang, Xinyicheng, Jiqing Zhai, Tongxing and Dafuxing, have appeared one after another. There are countless small workshops in every village.

These large painting shops are long-term production, are the business model of the front shop and back shop. Some have long-term employees of 50 or 60 people, dozens of painting cases, the largest "Ningtai" employs more than 300 people for a long time, and there are more than 100 painting cases in Nanguan, Wuqiang. There are more than 50 old towns and villages in the village, and there are also processing points outside Xi'an, Inner Mongolia and other places.

In the late Qing Dynasty, the most prosperous ones were "Shuangxing Shun, Zhengxing He, Qianxing, Fuxing De, Deyixiang, Dexiang" and "Tongxing, Xinyicheng" of the former eight families, which were called "the new eight families". Still centered on Nanguan, there is a "Painting Council".

From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, Chinese society changed, and people's ideas changed with the changes of the times. During this period, lithographic prints appeared in Tianjin and offset monthly prints appeared in Shanghai, which brought a strong impact on woodcut New Year pictures.

By the 1930s, almost all major cities and towns were dominated by lithographic New Year pictures and calendar New Year pictures. The woodcut New Year pictures from all over the country have collapsed continuously. At this time, Wuqiang New Year pictures still maintain a certain scale and momentum of development.

Until the July 7th Incident, there were 77 large and small painting shops opened in Nanguan, Wuqiang. The production of Wuqiang New Year's paintings still maintained a certain scale.

During the War of Resistance Against Japan and the War of Liberation, professional painters from Yan'an Luyi and the North China United University came to central Hebei and created another new pioneering work in the history of Wuqiang New Year's Painting in combination with Wuqiang New Year's Painting Artists.

After the founding of New China, the development of Wuqiang New Year's Pictures has received the attention of the Party and the state.

In 1951, old painters Jia Lingkui and Zhang Chunfeng participated in the Hebei Literary and Art Workers'Congress as invited representatives of the Wuqiang New Year Painting circle. In the summary report of the Congress, President Hu Su of the Provincial Literary Union fully affirmed the role of Wuqiang New Year Painting, a folk art with local characteristics, under the guidance of the Party's literary and artistic guidelines and through reform and innovation.

In 1954, 17 villages in 9 townships in the county resumed production of paintings. A total of 109 kinds of New Year's paintings were published in 35 registered painters, of which 16 kinds were new themes.

In 1956, during the socialist transformation, the Handicraft Union of Wuqiang County united the Red Star Painting Society, Jiuxing Painting Society, Guangming Painting Group and other units and individual painters that had been organized, and established a great painting cooperative. In 1958, it was changed to Wuqiang County Painting Co-operative Factory, later referred to as Wuqiang Painting Factory.

In August 1961, the Hebei Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China issued the directive of "Revitalizing Wuqiang New Year Pictures and Developing Hebei Fine Arts". In order to strengthen the local characteristics of Hebei Fine Arts Publications, carry forward the fine traditions, revitalize the historical heroism and better serve the reality, it pointed out the direction.

In September, in order to carry out the guiding spirit of "Revitalizing Wuqiang New Year Pictures and Developing Hebei Fine Arts", the Press and Publishing Office of Hebei Cultural Bureau and Hebei People's Fine Arts Publishing House formed an investigation team to investigate Wuqiang folk New Year Pictures. Understanding its history and shape, and local and county leaders and functional departments carried out a comprehensive and specific analysis, explore the effective ways and measures to restore and develop the Wuqiang New Year pictures.

In January 1962, with the approval of the provincial leaders, Wuqiang New Year's Painting Studio, mainly composed of Hebei People's Art Publishing House, was designated as Hebei Wuqiang Painting Shop. It was also set up in the joint office of Wuqiang Nanguan and Wuqiang Painting Factory.

From March 25 to 31, 1963, the first exhibition of Wuqiang woodcut New Year pictures was held in Tianjin, the capital of Hebei Province, and Hebei Art Teachers College, with 239 works on display, including 33 new ones. It has played a leading role in demonstrating "revitalizing Wuqiang New Year Pictures and developing Hebei Fine Arts". Wuqiang Painting Store submits relevant information to key national woodcut New Year paintings origin and art colleges and research units. Academic exchanges should be conducted to inject new vitality into the research and development of Wuqiang New Year pictures.

In August 1963, Wuqiang suffered from the catastrophic flood. The New Year pictures of Wuqiang played an important role in the process of disaster relief.

In 1964, when the "Socialist Education Movement" (the Fourth Qing Dynasty) began, Wuqiang New Year's Pictures were greatly impacted.

Since the Cultural Revolution of 1966, Wuqiang Painting Factory was first hit, tens of thousands of square woodcuts were torched, and the production of New Year's paintings was once again hit by the greatest blow in history. New Year's painting industry is in extreme trouble.

After the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, Wuqiang New Year's Pictures began to revive.

Wuqiang New Year Picture Products, in 1979 was awarded "Hebei Province Brand-name high-quality products"; twice won the "Hebei Province Hundred Flowers Award"; offset New Year Picture won the "Ministry of Excellent Products"; screen printing Wuqiang New Year Picture won the "National Golden Screen Bronze Medal (third-class) Award"; woodcut New Year Picture "Dazhuan Hammer Door God" won the national gold medal.

In 1980, Wuqiang County set up the New Year Picture Society. With the approval of the Ministry of Culture, Wuqiang New Year Picture Society, the only county-level publishing unit in China, was established (renamed Hebei Wuqiang Painting Society in 1995). By 2002, 780 kinds of Wuqiang New Year Pictures were published and distributed, with 60 million copies.

In 1985, Wuqiang established the first special Museum of New Year paintings in China. Later, it became a national key museum, provincial key museum, Hebei patriotic education base, Provincial National Defense Education base, national AA tourist attractions, and teaching and research base of more than a dozen colleges and universities such as Nanjing University.

In December 1993, the Ministry of Culture officially named Wuqiang as the "home of Folk Woodcut New Year pictures" throughout the country.

In 1992 and 1994, two "Chinese Wuqiang New Year Painting Festivals" were held.

In 2002, the Wuqiang New Year Painting Museum completed the second phase of the project, expanded the exhibition hall and other supporting facilities, and carried out a second renovation.

On October 16, 2002, the Third Chinese New Year Festival of Wuqiang and the 17th Annual Conference of the Chinese Society of Arts and Crafts were held.

In 2003, the CPPCC and Hebei Provincial People's Association successfully carried out the excavation and rescue work of the old secret edition of Wuqiang Old Town Village.

In 2003, it was appraised as "one of the first ten pilot projects for the protection of ethnic and folk cultures in China, and the first in seven major pilot projects" by the Ministry of Culture.

In 2005, Wuqiang New Year's Pictures were listed in the national intangible cultural heritage protection list.

On January 22, 2006, the State Post Office issued four special stamps for Wuqiang New Year's Picture, which became the national business card.

Manufacturing Technology

Wuqiang New Year's Painting is generally completed in three processes: painting, engraving and printing. The ancient Wuqiang New Year pictures were painted by hand. With the demand of the market and the rise of engraving and printing, woodcut New Year pictures have gradually formed. Their creation is usually completed collectively. The painter designs the sample, the engraver engraves the plate, and the printer prints it. The three processes take care of each other. Creation design should conform to the full composition, exaggerated shape, prominent theme, concise line, simple and concise coloring, strong contrast style and characteristics. Engraving requires steep knife vertical line, reflecting the taste of wood knife.

The production process is divided into two parts, the first part is ink plate: the first process is to mark the prepared wood board and drawings, then stick them firmly with paste, after drying, take shape, apply perfume, finish the appearance; the second process is to cut with the main cutting knife, knife methods are: hair knife, pick knife, mend knife, over knife, Ye knife. The third process, empty, flat, empty, complete line engraving. The second part, color matching plate: the sample of color separation (set selection) designed by the painter is glued to the prepared wooden board separately. The operation is the same as the first process of ink line. The second process is empty. It keeps a certain depth and distance around the outline of the color block, cuts off the connection between the pattern and the space. The third process is empty and flat, removes the space outside the required color block, and then extrudes the existing empty space. It is like spraying water to restore and air it; the fourth process is to use the main cutting knife to cut out the blank areas on the edge of the color block or pattern; the fifth process is to empty, empty and complete the color matching plate. Then proofing and trial edition, final trimming, and then delivery to printing. Printing first cuts the paper according to the size of the plate and fixes it on the printing case (worktable). Traditionally, the ink line is printed first, then the set color is printed, from light color to dark color. The set color is accurate, not bald, not dirty, full of four corners and bright colors.

Wuqiang New Year's pictures vary in engraving techniques, some of them are meticulous and meticulous, and some of them are both rough and fine. The use of black-and-white contrast of the performance method, give full play to the characteristics of interesting wood, always maintain the style of printmaking.

In many years of color overprinting, artists of New Year's paintings have summed up rich experience in color use, either in different color block sizes, or in shades, or in approximate arrangement, to achieve a distinctive and uniform effect. Require less and more changes in color, so as to increase the level of color block and stereo sense. Copy the key parts with the same or more colors to make the colors rich and varied. Patterns are bright and dark, beige and yellow are flourishing, and blue and violet are the same. Each work has a main theme, forming a simple bright, strong and loud melody, giving people a sense of jumping and jumping.

With the development of the times, Wuqiang New Year pictures not only maintain the traditional woodblock printing and silk printing, but also adopt new technology to offset woodblock New Year pictures.

Wuqiang New Year's pictures in engraving are characterized by bold and resolute techniques, mainly masculine engraving and masculine engraving. Rough and bold lines, upright and vigorous, showing a simple and naive beauty.

The wood used for engraving is Du wood and Pear wood grown locally. The wood is hard, fine-grained, easy to carve, wear-resistant, and the printing sticky water is not easy to deform. The most basic is the ink plate, which is used to print the outline of the picture. In general, there are red, yellow and blue color sets, and some are pink and gray. In this way, a complete Wuqiang New Year picture usually needs 4 to 6 plates.

The early printing of Wuqiang New Year's Pictures was made of straw paper made from local reeds and wheat straw, and later used ripe rice paper. Traditionally, vegetable pigments were used, and later Chinese painting or advertising colors were used.

In order to facilitate people's collection and viewing, Wuqiang New Year painters mount many New Year paintings into axes, pictures, mirrors and other forms, thus closer to modern people's life and aesthetics. With the development of society, the mounting and packaging technology of modern Wuqiang woodcut New Year's pictures has gradually become high-grade.

Inheritance of Skills

The inheritance of Wuqiang New Year's paintings is mostly from teachers and apprentices, but less from families. During the Republic of China and its previous engraving artists have no way to verify, after the founding of New China, more than 20 artists engaged in engraving. In the late 1950s, Wuqiang set up Nanguan Painting Co-operative (later changed to Wuqiang Painting Factory). At that time, six or seven artists, Chen Wenzhu, Wang Fuan, Jia Shihai, Li Wanzhang and Jia Yuanxiang, were engaged in engraving. As for the inheritance and popularization of Wuqiang engraving, if the engraving artists after the founding of the People's Republic were listed as the first generation inheritors, in the early 1960s, Sun Huirong (female) was a teacher of Wang Fuan and studied engraving in Wuqiang Painting Factory, they should be the second generation inheritors. In April 1975, Ma Xiqin inherited Sun Huirong's learning engraving as a third generation successor.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China:

First Generation Heritage: Wang Fuan

Second Generation Heritage: Sun Huirong

The Third Generation Heritage: Ma Xiqin

Ma Xiqin has been engaged in the art of Wuqiang New Year's Painting for decades. He has engraved more than 400 sets of engraving with various contents. He has trained six engravers and four printers. In engraving and printing techniques, he has continuously studied and explored, improved the quality of woodcut and expanded the market of New Year's Painting. His works have won many awards from Hebei Province and the State. It is widely collected by experts and scholars at home and abroad. In 1978 and 1979, Wuqiang New Year's Painting was named a provincial famous brand product for two consecutive years. In 1984, it was awarded the Hundred Flowers Prize for Hebei Province's Arts and Crafts. In 1989, it was "the First National Exhibition of Fine Arts and Crafts and Works of Celebrity Artists". The wood carving "God of Wealth" won the "Encouragement Award" and in 1994, "China". The door god of Wuqiang New Year painting "Big Poke Hammer" engraved in the folk art exhibition won the "Golden Prize". In 1995, the "Wanbo Cup" National "Art Town" Art Exhibition Competition, the portrayed door god engraving plate "Big Poke Hammer", "Small Poke Knife" and "Small Whip Mace" won the "Third Prize".

In the history of inheritance and development of Wuqiang New Year's Painting, Ma Xiqin and his master Sun Huirong played a very important role. After the reform and opening up, combined with modern aesthetic ideas, a large number of excellent traditional New Year's Paintings have been copied, and new works have been published.

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