Wednesday February 21, 2018
Johnsonville celebrates the Year of the Dog By Julia Czerwonatis
The Year of Dog was celebrated all over town last week as the Lunar New Year beckoned on Friday. While a colourful street parade in town welcomed the Chinese New Year on the weekend, Johnsonville Library invited those interested to a special showcase on Friday. Visitors had the chance to encounter first-hand Chinese culture with a group of traditional artists displaying paper kites, fish skin art, paper cutting, embroidery and more in the local library. “The Chinese Culture Centre organised for six artists to come here to show their work,” June Ling who works for the Johnsonville and Tawa libraries explains. “The Chinese communities in Churton Park, Newlands and Johnsonville are growing.” June believes sharing a piece of Chinese tradition with the local
community will enhance mutual understanding of the Kiwi and the Chinese cultures. Hong Wei Yang is a third descendant of an old family of kite crafters and was one of six Chinese presenting their work last Friday. June explains that crafts like Hong’s kites have a long history in China. “The knowledge is being translated from generation to generation.” Chuanxin Qi has inherited an even older family tradition. He is making craved wood prints in the sixth generation and has been creating his prints for over 40 years. It was a pleasure for him to display his work in New Zealand, he says. Weiling You’s family is sharing a part of their local cultural history with fish skin art pieces. Once, Weiling says, people used to make their clothes out of salmon skin. While clothing traditions have since changed, Weiling is keeping the tradition alive with her crafts.
It took Hei Long Jiang six years to learn embroidery. She worked 180 hours on her recent commissioned piece of Jacinda Ardern.
Weiling You is sewing small pieces of clothing made of fish skin.
Huaqiang Liu presents his paper cutting crafts, passed on for four generations, in Johnsonville.
Chuanxin Qi has been making craved wood prints for over 40 years.
Hong Wei Yang is a kite craft master from Shandong, China.
Independent Herald 21-02-18