Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Zhuxianzhen New Year Woodprints

China does issue very beautiful stamps. Just should look at these gems on this lovely miniature sheet which were issued on 15th January 2008. Zhuxianzhen, a historically important commercial town, is located 20 kilometers southwest to Kaifeng City, Henan Provinces. The Zhuxianzhen New Year Woodprints originated in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and boomed during the Song (960-1279). As the birthplace of Chinese New Year Woodprints, Zhuxianzhen exerted an influence upon the New Year woodprints produced in Wuqiang, Yangliuqing, Taohuawu, and Yangjiabu. This art form of features a typical northern style, characterised by bold and unconstrained lines, lively composition, exaggerated designs and exquisite application of colors, which are radiant and may never fade. According to a historical book "Dream of the Capital", during the Northern Song (960-1127), woodprint New Year paintings were prevalent in the capital city, Bianjing (present-day Kaifeng). In 1127, when the Jin troops attacked and captured Bianjing, the woodprint workshops and artists were forced to relocate to Zhuxianzhen, 20 kilometers away. Hence the name "Zhuxianzhen New Year Woodprints”.
In 2006, Zhuxianzhen New Year Woodprints was included in the first national intangible culture heritage list. These sets of stamps and this minisheet were issued on 15 January 2008 in order to celebrate Woodblock New Year Pictures of Zhuxian Town - Door God, Sanniang Teaches Her Son, Back from a Fruitful Trip, and Legendary Heroines.

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