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Pingtan artists bring dead wood back to life

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-08-11

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Pieces of dead wood have been given new life by a group of amateur artists in Pingtan, Fujian province.

Inspired by a news story about an elderly artist who painted pictures on wood, local middle school teacher Chen Bo decided to follow suit, turning waste wood into works of arts with his brush.

Things did not go smoothly at first. "The first pictures I painted on discarded wood didn't look that good," said Chen.

Not discouraged by the initial failure, Chen collected more shredded wood from a nearby furniture factory to try out a few more tests. Eventually, he figured out that it was the waste wood's rough surface that was causing the problem.

A rough piece of wood needs to be polished at least ten times before it can be used for painting, according to Chen.

Chen also worked out how to join small pieces of wood together into a bigger, regular-shaped one using the mortise and tenon method, more suitable for use in his paintings.

"In this way, I can maximize the use of the waste wood I collect,"he explained.

The paintings of Pingtan's signature scenic spots painted directly onto waste wood by Chen and his friends have gained swift popularity among local residents.

Pingtan artists bring dead wood back to life

The portrayal of Shipaiyang, a signature scenic spot in Pingtan, Fujian province, is painted on a piece of compressed wood. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"It is so rare to see a picture painted on a piece of wood, and it could be an innovative approach to promote local scenic spots and culture," said a local resident surnamed Gao.

Painting is only one part of the art group's plans to promote Pingtan, according to Lin Xinpan, a friend of Chen Bo. They are planning to explore more ways to develop creative products highlighting Pingtan culture, enabling more people to get to know the city.

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