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Fish printing art in Zhoushan

Updated : 2020-03-27 (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Xu Binli, a fish printing artist in Zhoushan, at work in his studio [Photo/zj.zjol.com]

Fish printing, an art form that involves painting fish on delicate rice paper, is popular in Zhoushan, an island city in Zhejiang province.

Originating in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), it was included among the intangible cultural heritages of Putuo district in 2015.

Xu Binli, aged 48, was born in Mayi Island in Putuo district and is a practitioner of the art form. He learned from Li Shixin, a master of the art form, in 2010 and has since mastered the technique.

"To make the print, we need to first clean the fish with salt water and wipe the water off with paper, before brushing the fish with paint and then placing a piece of paper over it," said Xu.

"There are hundreds of kinds of fishes in Zhoushan. I want to paint them not only to promote the art form, but also marine culture," Xu added.

Xu has opened fish printing art training courses in Zhoushan and is often invited to colleges to teach students his skills.