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Handmade products give trade fair global appeal

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-27


Visitors at this year's China Cross-border E-commerce Trade Fair in Fuzhou, Fujian. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Distinctive handmade products showcasing Chinese culture and art proved popular at the 2023 China Cross-border E-commerce Trade Fair in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian province, which ran through March 18 to 20.

Dou Weiyong, with Fuyue Daily Necessities Manufacturing Co, based in Shaowu, Fujian, has been approached by a number of international buyers.

"Many international buyers, especially those from Europe, have shown great interest in our bamboo products," he says. It is the second time Dou has joined the fair, where he got to show the charm of local bamboo craftsmanship.

"We had three booths showcasing our products this year, as opposed to just one last year, and we also increased the varieties of our products," says Dou.

The company has turned bamboo into a wide range of art items, such as flowerpots and woven artwork, as well as daily implements, such as pens and rice steamers, all of which are handmade by local women in Shaowu through traditional craftsmanship.

The city boasts rich bamboo resources, and Dou's company is one of many companies in the bamboo craft business, which has given job opportunities to 30,000 people, according to local authorities.

"Our plant is in the rural area, where people in their 60s and 70s have long been adept at various bamboo processing skills. The popularity of bamboo products has enabled them to apply their craftsmanship and make extra money," Dou says.

Last year, the company brought in approximately 100 million yuan ($14.7 million) in sales, and Dou expects to double the figure this year.

"The market has started to rebound after the pandemic, so we're confident," he says.

Zhang Bin, from Beijing Meida Technology Co, was also asked about his delicate works featuring handmade crafts inspired by the palace styles of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

They include delicate jewelry boxes and cabinets, whose craftsmanship was named a national intangible cultural heritage in 2021.

"We joined the fair to test the water, and the feedback has been very positive," Zhang says.

"The public has shown great curiosity and interest in these delicate 'packaging boxes', which they hadn't seen before."

The company's products have been presented to clients in Europe, such as in Poland and Italy, who have expressed a desire to collaborate in the future.

"Next, we will bring more products featuring traditional Chinese culture and related elements to the overseas market," Zhang says.

Jiaobata, a Tibetan artist from Qinghai province, brought thangka, or traditional Tibetan Buddhist paintings on cotton or silk, to the fair.

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