Why it's important to keep folk art alive

Why it's important to keep folk art alive


Uncle man is keeping old traditions alive.
Photo: May Tse/SCMP

I am writing to express my views on your article, “Tear into your art” (Young Post, August 25). It’s about Lee Sing-man, or “Uncle man”, the King of Paper-craft.

As everyone knows, China has a rich history and culture involving art. Chinese people first developed folk art between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago.

Famous folk art such as paper tearing, shadow play, embroidery and carving were loved by royalty and common people alike. In ancient times, folk art was treasured in China.

But nowadays, science and technology have advanced so quickly that the world is all about change. People aren’t interested in traditional folk art anymore.

It’s becoming more difficult to keep folk art alive. The “experts” are getting older, and the younger generation aren’t interested in taking over the art or promoting it.

Part of the problem is that young people don’t know much about folk art. The government doesn’t do a lot to promote it either, meaning young people don’t find out about it.

The government needs to raise awareness of the importance of preserving folk art. If people are told that their culture is at risk, they’ll do more to protect it.

Folk art should also be taught in primary and secondary schools so that more students can learn about it and understand it.

Finally, the government should hold more exhibitions about folk art. This would provide more chances for young people to learn about a very important aspect of our culture.

Jessica Liang, Tak Nga Secondary School

Paper-crafting: ‘Uncle Man’ preaches appreciating the beauty in flaws

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Jessica. We’re glad you enjoyed the article.

Perhaps we should not wait for the government to do things for us. Rather, we should find these interesting artists and learn more about their craft.

At Young Post, we have met lots of locals who keep their art alive, from kite makers to people who make the heads for lion dancing. These kinds of people are all around us; we just need to make the time to talk to them and find out what they’re all about.

You can even help to spread the word among other students by becoming a Young Post junior reporter and writing about local artists for our popular publication.

Susan, Editor

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
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