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Feng Jicai: Safeguarding Folk Culture

Feng Jicai, born in Tianjin in 1942, is a highly accomplished writer, known for his depictions of intellectuals' lives and the historical stories of Tianjin, where he has been living for more than 40 years. His novels have been translated into dozens of languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Dutch and Spanish. More than 30 translated versions of his novels have been published outside China.

In recent years, while serving as executive chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles , and chairman of the Tianjin Writers Association, Feng has dedicated most of his time and energy to the preservation of China's ethnic and folk culture, trying to save the country's vanishing cultural memories.

Feng began his mission to save folk culture legacies in the 1990s, when he was at the prime of his literary career. His work now mainly focuses on the recognition of the outstanding heirs of folk culture through investigations, the protection of ethnic culture, and the study and protection of ancient villages. He has already begun compiling books on China's New Year's woodprints, folk paper cutouts, thangka Buddhist painting scrolls, records of Chinese folk customs, and complete Chinese folktales.

Feng's interest in folk art and customs can be dated back to the 1960s, when he worked at the Tianjin Calligraphy and Painting Institution after graduating from high school in 1960. Over the years, he has combined his love for literature with his admiration of Chinese folk culture.

Old street in Tianjin


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