[Village Revitalization] Huamao Village, Zunyi, Guizhou: a modern transformation of a thousand-year-old paper

  [Concurrent] Zhang Shengdi, the inheritor of ancient papermaking in Huamao Village, Fengxiang Town, Zunyi City, Guizhou Province

  The Huamao (cun) paper differs from others in two points. The first point is that we have preserved its original ecological appearance well. This is the inheritance; the second point is to innovate better and make it follow the current situation. People’s aesthetics, consumption, and modern people’s needs are completely integrated; one more thing we insist on doing best is to present these cultural elements of Huamao on this piece of paper. I think this is ours. A value transfer.

  [Explanation] Papermaking from Broussonetia papyrifera is a craft that has been passed down for thousands of years in Huamao Village, Zunyi City, Guizhou Province. It was on the verge of being lost.

In 2016, Zhang Shengdi, who is keen to inherit "intangible cultural heritage" and engaged in wine-making business abroad, returned to her hometown Huamao Village through the "Phoenix Return to the Nest" plan to start a business. She sought to absorb some old craftsmen, farmers, calligraphers and painters in the village, and returned Migrant workers and college students who have returned to their hometowns founded the "Hua Mao Renjia" papermaking workshop, determined to pass on the papermaking skills of Broussonetia papyrifera.

  [Concurrent] Zhang Shengdi, the inheritor of ancient papermaking in Huamao Village, Fengxiang Town, Zunyi City, Guizhou Province

  If you want this piece of paper and this traditional old craft to be refreshed, you must have talents.

Our peasant calligraphers and painters are ready-made talents. He can guide us to do this and provide us with technical assistance; the second is the returning home college students. The culture and knowledge he has learned can contribute to his Strength; there is also our migrant workers, which means that they can work with peace of mind in front of their homes.

Such a team combination can improve each other, can tolerate each other, and can integrate and develop with each other.

I think this is a way to solve the shortage of talents in rural areas.

  [Explanation] Kuang Tingting is a returning home university student employed in the "Hua Mao Family". Because of her strong interest in ancient papermaking, in 2019, she resolutely gave up her stable job in the urban area and returned to her hometown to make paper in the "Hua Mao Family". The workshop learns papermaking skills and develops cultural and creative products.

  [Concurrent] Kuang Tingting, a college student returning home

  If I am here, I am mainly responsible for making this paper pulp embossing technician.

Now my hometown has developed quite well, not to mention that I have to go to work outside, and then come back to do some more meaningful things, which can not only inherit this culture, but also improve my own value.

  [Explanation] Over the years, Zhang Shengdi and his team members have continued to explore and try, and are committed to the deep integration of Huamao’s ancient papermaking skills and local characteristic culture, and innovative creations on the basis of inheriting traditional skills, making a piece of plain white Paper has become a commodity more in line with modern consumption.

  [Concurrent] Zhang Shengdi, the inheritor of ancient papermaking in Huamao Village, Fengxiang Town, Zunyi City, Guizhou Province

  Our team made the first composing work about Huamao, namely Huamao's Happy Life, Huamao Farmhouse, then Huamao Sunflowers, and Huamao's Starry Sky.

After finishing this series of works, it attracted a lot of people's attention and liked it very, very much.

  [Explanation] Since then, the pastoral scenery, village dwellings, folk customs and nostalgic culture of Huamao Village have been "moved" by Zhang Shengdi onto sheets of paper, and made into unique paper pulp embossed paintings and books, letter paper, oil paper umbrellas and other texts. Innovative products have gradually become a beautiful "business card" for Huamao to develop rural tourism, which is very popular with tourists and is in short supply.

  [Concurrent] Macau tourist Ms. Yan

  They used the natural flowers and the bookmarks made of ancient paper. I think they can be clipped when reading books to keep them as a souvenir.

Inheritance does not mean just copying the practices of the ancients, they also want to add some of their own understanding, so I think they are working hard on this road, and this spirit is worth learning.

  [Explanation] In recent years, with the continuous prosperity of rural tourism, Zhang Shengdi’s "Hua Mao Ren Jia" ancient papermaking workshop not only introduces the old and new in cultural and creative products, but is also favored by tourists. It has also become a popular tourist check-in in Huamao Village. Every year, it attracts many tourists and student teams from home and abroad to experience intangible cultural heritage techniques and research practices.

  [Concurrent] Zhang Shengdi, the inheritor of ancient papermaking in Huamao Village, Fengxiang Town, Zunyi City, Guizhou Province

  For this traditional intangible cultural heritage and rural tourism, I think what we need to do is to persist in passing it down. The other is to innovate, not to stand still, to keep up with the pace of our times.

I hope to make our culture better and better, pass it on more and let more people know it.

  Reporter Pu Wensi Zhou Yanling reports from Zunyi, Guizhou

Editor in charge: [Ji Xiang]