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Leaf Carving Art
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  • 1. Huang Taisheng
  • 2. Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface, by cuttinggrooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel,lacquer, or glass are engraved.But how about engraving patterns on a leaf which is thin and soft?Huang Taisheng, born in 1950 in Taizhou, east China’s Jiangsu province, succeeded inleaf engraving after years of effort and is recognized as a pioneer of natural leaf engravingart. In 1994, after his artworks were collected to be recognized for a Guinness WorldRecord, he was awarded a certificate from the headquarters of Guinness World Recordsin Shanghai. He was inspired by a moth-eaten leaf whose veins looked like a map ofChina. Engraving on thin, fragile, wet, and soft leaves seemed an impossible task at thevery beginning, but he never gave up. With unremitting efforts and help from biologicalexperts, Huang came up with a special biological solution. When a leave is dipped into thesolution for a certain period of time, it will become suitable to engrave characters or otherdemonstrative patterns on it.In addition to soaking, the selected leaves have to go through several dozens ofprocesses before changing into beautiful works of art, including trimming, hammering,pressing, engraving, grinding, ironing and bleaching.Professional treatment with the special biological solution and the above processes willmake the engraved leaves more flexible, damp-proof and moth-proof, and likely to be wellpreserved for a long period.Huang’s works are highly recognized and collected by many museums in China and therest of the world. The themes of his works mainly fall into the following categories:historical figures such as Confucius and Shakespeare; Chinese calligraphy and murals;Buddhism; political leaders, cultural gurus etc.