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Zhejiang Kaihua Root Carving Art Shines at 76th Venice International Film Festival

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This year’s star-filled Venice International Film set the stage to showcase film works, filmmaking talent, and the best film shooting locations in China. Among these, Kaihua county, a mountainous county in China’s Zhejiang Province, caught the audience’s imagination with its unique and historic root carving art.

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Head of Kaihua County Lu Xiaguang (right), Kaihua root carving master Xu Guqing (left) presented a gift to Head of International Department of ANICA Roberto Stabile (Photo: Business Wire)

Audiences learned that Kaihua’s root carving dates back to the Tang Dynasty at “China’s Best Film Shooting Locations” on August 29, as part of the annual “Focus on China” event held during the Venice International Film Festival.

According to Mr. Lu Xiaguang, Mayor of Kaihua County, the heritage of root carving art has a history of centuries in China. As time went by, it has become not only more creative and exquisite but also more integrated into modern life and the urban landscape.

With the growing appeal of root carving art, Kaihua is attracting more foreign tourists and gaining international recognition. Engaging in international exchange, the county collected long-forgotten tree roots from around China and neighboring countries, and transformed them into art works that can return to their places of origin with a new lease of life. In this way, Kaihua has developed its own “Belt and Road” of root carving that boosts its local tourism and global linkages, Lu said.

Besides root carving, Kaihua also boasts a rich cultural heritage such as Qigao, the so-called “Oriental Pizza,” and some local folk dances, he noted.

At the event, an Italian couple named Roberto and Serena who have formed a special bond with Kaihua root carving art since 15 years ago due to the work on its exhibitions, told the audience that they were impressed by not only the high value and pure natural essence of the art works, but also the hospitality of local people.

Extending the invitation to the world filmmakers and people at the event, Mr. Xu Guqing, a master artist of root carving, hopes that this artistic legacy can provide inspiration and material for their creativity and adventure.

This is the 4th year that “Focus on China” was held as a side event at the Venice International Film Festival, with an aim to enhance the cultural exchange between China and Italy and facilitate China-EU cooperation in filmmaking and trade.

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Xinhuanet Europe
Wei Wang
wangwei@xinhuaeurope.com

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