蘇州桃花塢木版年畫 Taohuawu Woodblock New Year Prints, Suzhou (Chinese-English Edition)
Jiangsu Ancient Book Publishing
167 pag. hardcover 22 x 29 cm
Woodblock New Year prints are popular festive decorations in China. As far back as in the Ming and the Qing Dynasties woodblock New Year prints at Taohuawu in Suzhou developed as one of the main varieties of the art and became widespread in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui Provinces in the lower Yangtze valley. Along with the development of navigation, some prints were shipped to Japan and countries in Southeast Asia.
In the course of history, artists and craftsmen at Taohuawu have, by inheriting fine traditions of their previous generations and basing themselves on the contemporary aesthetic taste of the people, created a great number of excellent works loved by the people. They are a precious legacy in the treasure-house of China.
It is the custom among the people in China to "replace the old peach wood charm with a new one" on New Year's day. The replacement of the old New Year pictures with new ones also implies "seeing the old year out and the new year in". Unfortunately, many of these fine works have been lost without a trace, for they were works appreciated only by the common people and failed to receive due interest and attention of artists or collectors of artistic works. White traditional hand-made woodblock prints have now become a rarity, their strong local flavor and distinctive characteristics are arousing more and more interest in the art circle. In view of this fact, we have decided to publish this collection for those who love woodblock New Year prints and professional artists in this field in their appreciation and study.
We are deeply indebted to Taohuawu Woodblock New Year Print Workshop in Suzhou for providing all the treasured woodblock prints, to Mr. Jin Yuli, Mr. Wang Zude and Mr. Zhang Xiaofei who have made an in-depth study of this art and written the captions in the book. We are grateful to all those in Suzhou who have rendered great assistance, without which this book would not have been possible.