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6 Wuxi folk artists win national recognition

Updated : 2024-02-23
(en.wuxi.gov.cn)

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Liu Chengyin examines his work. [Photo/WeChat account: wuxishilvyouju]

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism recently published the sixth group of inheritors of national intangible cultural heritage items, including six in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.

The six folk artists fall into five categories – Huishan clay figurine maker, Yixing purple clay pottery makers, and performers of Xiju Opera, Wuxi Taoist music, and Wu songs.

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Wu Huyong performs Taoist music. [Photo/WeChat account: wuxishilvyouju]

Huishan clay figurine maker Liu Chengyin is dedicated to developing production techniques and producing fine works. His recent blue-and-white clay figurines in particular have been widely favored. Over the past 50 years, the craftsman has made over 1,500 works, many of which have been collected by museums at home and abroad.

Reputed as today's leading figure in Xiju Opera, Huang Jinghui has made innovations in the vocal system of heroines in Xiju Opera and starred in numerous Xiju Opera plays such as the Pearl Pagoda and Huishan Clay Figurine.

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Tang Jianqin (R) sings a Wu song with another singer. [Photo/WeChat account: wuxishilvyouju]

Two Yixing purple clay pottery makers have made the prestigious list. Gu Shaopei is accomplished in making purple clay pottery for both display and daily use, and Fan Weiqun is experienced in making purple clay teapots featuring vertical, horizontal, or rotating lines. The latter has trained over 1,500 artisans.

Hailing from a Taoist family, Wu Huyong learned Taoist music from his grandfather when he was a child. Wu not only sings with clear articulation and a mellow and full tune, but also is expert in all Taoist musical instruments. In recent years, he has published multiple theoretical books promoting the genre of music.

Tang Jianqin is the third generation inheritor of Wu songs in Wuxi, as well as the only Wu song performer that can sing the three long narrative poems Xue Liulang, Xiao Qing Qing, and Hua Bao Shan.

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