The centuries-old technique of wood-cut printing is being revived in the ancient Chinese city of Suzhou with the re-opening of a school that has been closed for then years.
CU PULL BACK TO GV: Man sketching
CUs: Man sketching. (2 shots)
CU TILT DOWN GV: Brushes TO print and man working (2 shots)
GV: Men and women making wood carving for prints. (2 shots)
GV: Man taking print off wood carving and CU prints. (12 shots)
GV: Woman putting prints on wall
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Background: The centuries-old technique of wood-cut printing is being revived in the ancient Chinese city of Suzhou with the re-opening of a school that has been closed for then years. Woodcut printing in Suzhou has history spanning more than tow-hundred and seventy years and is an important component of Chinese art.
This school of woodcut art is well known...with original prints from past students now hanging in museums throughout the world.
It's one of the oldest methods of making prints form a relief surface, having been used in China to decorate textiles since the fifty century AD. There are three processes in the work -- painting, carving, and printing.
Only pear wood is used to make the blocks and the number of blocks for each print depends on the number of colours to be used. In the Yuan period. printing was only in two colours, but by the end of the Ming dynasty printing in flat areas and using several colours was perfected. The two contrasting colours of red and green are most commonly used.
These woodcuts are called Tao Hua Wu woodcuts -- named after a street in Suzhou in earlier days where the original woodcutting studio was located.
The subjects of Tao Hua Wu woodcuts are mainly based on fairy tales, customs and manners among the people, and scenes symbolizing good luck and prosperity.
Suzhou is a centre of learning and it's gained a reputation over the past twenty years for its training schemes for apprentice workers in traditional handicrafts.