China News Network Shandong Juye, April 4 Topic: Shandong Easter egg painter: square inches show "thousands of worlds"

Written by Li Mingrui Xiao Shouxiang

Brush by stroke, tick by touch, presenting a vivid landscape scenery, vivid flowers, birds, insects and fish... On the 11th, the reporter walked into an egg studio in Fenghuang Street, Juye County, Heze City, Shandong Province, and a variety of Easter egg works came into view.

Gao Guanling holds an eggshell in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. Photo by Zang Dongming

In the studio, Gao Guanling, 69-year-old president of the Juye County Gongbi Peony Painting Association, holds an eggshell in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. In a moment, a beautiful peony flower "blooms" on the eggshell. He told reporters that the egg drawing looks simple, in fact, the process is very cumbersome, first use a needle to extract the egg white, then clean and disinfect, polish the surface flat, using the traditional brush painting "three alum nine dyeing" technique, in order to present a three-dimensional layer pattern on the eggshell.

Gao Guanling holds an eggshell in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. In a moment, a beautiful peony flower "blooms" on the eggshell. Photo by Zang Dongming

"Easter eggs have a long history in Juye, and large-scale painting has been created and produced since the 70s of the last century." Talking about the history of Shandong Juye Easter eggs, Gao Guanling told reporters that at first Easter eggs were not sold in China, mainly for the United States, New Zealand, Canada and other countries and regions to spend Christmas as decorations. In 1975, Juye Easter Eggs participated in the Guangzhou Spring Fair for the first time and became "popular", and since then Juye has become the first county in Shandong Province to produce Easter eggs.

"With the improvement of the public's appreciation level, the demand for ordinary festival-style eggs is decreasing, coupled with the cumbersome drawing process, many egg painters have begun to change careers, and egg painting has fallen into a trough." Gao Guanling said frankly that if this craft wants to have lasting vitality, it needs to continue to innovate in inheritance.

Easter egg display. Photo by Zang Dongming

Gao Guanling told reporters that in recent years, on the basis of inheriting traditional painting techniques, he has also carried out bold exploration, absorbed historical and cultural elements, and organically integrated with Gongbi painting techniques, so that the colors of the painting of Easter eggs are natural and bright, showing the blending, layers and artistic conception of Chinese landscapes, making an ordinary eggshell a work of art with ornamental and collectible value.

Easter egg display Photo by Zang Dongming

In addition, in order to carry forward this excellent traditional culture and support the development of the egg industry, in recent years, Juye County has set up grassroots painting institutes in various towns and streets, while training the painting skills of Gongbi peony, but also training the egg painting skills for interested villagers for free.

At present, on the occasion of the 32nd Heze International Peony Cultural Tourism Festival, Juye Easter Eggs has innovatively added peony elements, integrating Easter eggs with painting, sculpture and other arts. "I hope that Easter egg painting will develop better and better, and it will last for a long time." Gao Guanling said. (End)