Exhibits rooted in folk art

CASUAL spectators at the Guangzhou Trade Fair will find plenty to interest them in the exhibitions of traditional arts and crafts and stone carvings.

The exhibits are produced professionally but their history stretches back 1,000 years to the days when families made their own home decorations.

Stuffed silk hangings and woodblock prints, brightly coloured cushions embroidered with gods, fruit and animals, and mounted cork carvings are the nearest to the true folk art.

Many of the other items would have been beyond the range of the humble farmer's skill and purse.

The aristocracy hired artists to produce paintings and porcelain and, in today's displays, it is professional work that is for sale.

Traditional paintings of bamboo, birds and wise men meditating by a stream winding through the mountains were for the rich man's house, as were the scrolls of calligraphy.

Today's arts will include valuable jade carvings displaying the brilliant range of colours of jadeite.

There will also be rich silk carpets from several provinces.