Intangible Cultural Heritage · Oriental Aesthetics | Limited Edition Floral Paper Series "Enchanting Blossoms"

Intangible Cultural Heritage · Oriental Aesthetics | Limited Edition Floral Paper Series "Enchanting Blossoms"

Upon arriving in Danzhai, Guiyang, the weather was unusually hot and humid. After driving through the forest for a while, we finally met Wang Xingwu, a nationally recognized inheritor of the traditional handmade paper-making technique at the Shiqiao Chuandong Paper Mill. He greeted us warmly while still busy at work, explaining that he was in the process of selecting materials, with a voice so penetrating it felt like an impromptu lecture.

Mr. Wang told us that the Shiqiao Chuandong Paper Mill primarily produces "ancient book restoration paper," as the water quality in the cave meets the pH standards required for restoring ancient books, making it a unique natural resource.

Floral paper originates from China's oldest handmade paper-making method, embodying both a profound cultural heritage and a clear, natural charm, vividly conveying a rhythm of life. Unlike the smooth and clean modern printing paper, the process of making floral paper is complex and meticulous. Each sheet retains the natural imprints, with the paper pulp blending into the clarity of the mountain spring water, and the fibers naturally forming textures, presenting everything in its most authentic form.

Taking advantage of a clear day's sunlight, one can see through the base color of the paper, bridging the shores of time, imprinting a new spring. Floral paper is the epitome of the collision between flowers, plants, and paper. By incorporating flowers and plants into the paper pulp, it touches the essence of ancient and modern cultures, finding oneself within the confines of the paper.

In fact, Mr. Wang has been committed to traditional paper-making for forty years, pioneering various types of paper used in different scenarios. In 2009, he was recognized as a representative inheritor of the national intangible cultural heritage project for handmade paper-making. He has been featured in numerous interviews and documentaries on intangible cultural heritage, contributing significantly to the promotion of traditional paper-making.

Previously, the rise of modern paper factories had threatened the survival of traditional paper-making, causing local artisans to lose motivation and seek work elsewhere. Only Wang Xingwu chose to stay, believing that traditional paper-making would eventually find its market. He explained, "It seems accidental, but it’s inevitable. I remember that online literature began to emerge during that period. Thus, in the age of digital reading, traditional paper-making has become even more precious."

Influenced by him, many artisans set aside their worries and joined the traditional paper-making cooperative he established. This was undoubtedly a revival of traditional paper-making. Together, they developed hundreds of types of paper for various uses, innovating while preserving tradition, and staying in step with the times. Today, Shiqiao Village's paper is not only used for sealing Moutai liquor but also designated for the restoration of artifacts and ancient books by the National Library and the National Museum. In recent years, traditional paper from Shiqiao has gained international acclaim, with products exported to countries like the UK, France, the USA, and Australia, truly going global and gaining a new lease on life.

This time, PandaPrank has partnered with Wang Xingwu, a national representative inheritor of the handmade paper-making technique, to discuss the inheritance and innovation of the floral paper technique. They aim to gather strength, seek the essence of self, and bring the art of intangible cultural heritage floral paper into everyday life.

Floral paper embodies not just millennia-old paper-making techniques but also an age-old attitude towards life—sincere and calm. In paper-making, every step must be done to "perfection," gathering the dynamic energy contained in each fiber and releasing it at the right moment to present the best result. Floral paper is like this, as is the creative redesign of sneakers. Designers also strive for "perfection" in their designs, channeling the inner strength into unique plant textures on the paper.