The Grand Canal on wood carvings

By Gateway   |    2024-07-03 17:17:37

In the workshop, the buzz of electric saws fills the air, accompanied by flying wood chips and the strong scent of camphorwood. Nine enormous logs, stretching over a hundred meters in length, are lined up in a row, with a dozen craftsmen working on the wood.

This is Zheng Chunhui's studio, where he is creating the large wooden sculpture group "The Grand Canal." He aims to condense the 2,500-year-old, 2,700-kilometer-long Grand Canal into over a hundred meters of wood. Zheng has been working tirelessly and passionately on this project, never taking a vacation since he first embarked on this journey.

The Grand Canal, initiated during the Spring and Autumn period (around 770–476 BC), was a major artery for transportation in ancient China, linking the north and south.

"The Grand Canal, built by the people's labor, allows silk from south China and goods from north China to flow, preserving thousands of years of Chinese culture and promoting regional development," signed Zheng.

Zheng begins by sketching a hundred-meter-long scroll painting of the Grand Canal in pure white lines on paper. Next, he uses colored chalk to draw on wood, creating a vibrant landscape. Finally, craftsmen carve along the lines, transforming the drawing into a three-dimensional wood sculpture.

Zheng Chunhui understands that in the era of artificial intelligence and 3D printing, it is vision, aesthetics and creativity that machines cannot replace, which is also the original intention behind his wood carving.; trans-editing by Guo Yao

The Grand Canal on wood carvings