Wuqiang Woodblock Print New Year Picture 武強年畫
Wuqiang Woodblock Print New Year Picture
Woodblock Print New Year Picture from Wuqiang is one of the four major New Year Picture Centers in China.
At the end of 10th Century, China began the long tradition of colored woodcuts. It was quite popular in 14th Century and flourished from 17th to 19th centuries. There were over 1000 woodcut workshops at Wuqiang.Survived all the political upheavals and battles, woodcuts have continued the folk art tradition, and have carried on people’s wish for health and peace, and prosperity in life.
Woodcuts have bold lines, full composition, and bright colors. This is basically a relief printing technique. The picture is carved into the surface of a block of wood. Then the relief is covered with color, and the printer presses the paper onto the block in order to imprint the color on it.
The themes include folk God & spirit, historical figures, activities of writers and artists. They also reflect incidents in society, and the life of commoners.
Most of the Woodcut Year Pictures here are from De-yi-zhai Workshop. Mr. Qi Jian-Ming, Director of De-yi-zhai, inherited the old De-long Studio, and transformed it into De-yi-zhai. After the Cultural Revolution he tried very hard to promote the woodcut year Picture in his hometown Wuqiang. He was the Director of the Cultural Bureau and the Association of Woodcutters. He and some friends established Wuqiang Museum of Woodcuts New Year Picture. He has contributed a lot in making & Preserving Woodcut New Year Pictures, as well as training woodcutters.
New Year Pictures年畫 Nianhuà is representing the images posted on the door during the Chinese New Year. In ancient times, when it comes the Spring Festival, they will be posted on the door of every household, which is representing a gesture of "auspiciousness". In China, this is a popular tradition since ancient times. It does not belong to the nobility, but the civilian population.
In every Lunar New Year, people buy a few pictures posted on the door, and almost every family does the same. Every family, from the front door to the private room and all covered with a variety of colorful symbol of auspicious and wealth of New Year Picture.
New Year Pictures, usually woodblock prints with simple lines and bright and warm colours. The homelike atmosphere of the exhibition venue, it makes people feel happy, but also reflects the history of Chinese society, life, beliefs and customs. The art of New Year Picture has a very long history in china, people expressed their sense of awe at nature and their uncertainty about the coming year by hanging up woodblock prints, which embodied their hope for the future.
Nianhuà were produced using a range of methods, including woodblock, stone-block and offset printing, watercolour painting and sketching. Woodblock prints have been the most popular of all the methods used.
In the middle and late periods of the Qing Dynasty, woodblock New Year pictures became so popular that large picture workshops and stores were opened in many provinces throughout China. Zhuxianzhen in Henan Province, Yangjiabu in Shandong Province, Taohuawu in Jiangsu Province and Yangliuqing in Tianjin Province were known as the “Four Master Towns of New Year Pictures” due to their scale of production, high quality and distinctive characteristics.