Yao Yingchun with the biggest filigree inlay artwork in the world at a museum in Guangdong province. The piece is 5.2 meters long and 2 meters high, decorated with more than 30,000 pieces of jade and gems. It combines 7 craft techniques.[Photo/Xinhua]
Filigree inlay, one of the eight traditional arts and crafts of Beijing, includes complex techniques. In 2008, the State Council officially designated filigree inlay art as Intangible Cultural Heritage of China.
As an official Representative Inheritor, Yao Yingchun has devoted himself to this traditional art since he was 17. For the past 50 years, he has spent most of his time on the craft. Yao still works full time in a filigree museum teaching new artists and young apprentices. It takes decades to train a craftsman and Yao currently has more than 30 apprentices.
An exhibition opened in Paris on March 5 featuring exquisite filigree inlay work by Yao and his colleagues. A masterpiece of filigree inlay ruyi, or ceremonial scepter, took about 3 months to produce and is a feature of the exhibition.
Apprentices make a final check of a filigree inlay ruyi, or ceremonial scepter, decorated with carved patterns and gems.[Photo/Xinhua]
An apprentice makes a filigree inlay in a Guangdong studio.[Photo/Xinhua]
Detailed filigree inlay artwork is displayed against a light.[Photo/Xinhua]
Apprentices make sure every detail of a filigree inlay artwork is perfect.[Photo/Xinhua]