Donghua news The Art of Lacquer Line Carving (Quanzhou) in Heaven Official’s Blessing

Fans of Heaven Official’s Blessing (Tian Guan Ci Fu, 天官赐福) vividly remember the scene where Xie Lian — His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Xianle, soon to become the laughing stock of the three realms — engages in the Heavenly Ceremonial Procession during the novel’s equivalent of the Shangyuan Festival (The Lantern Festival).

Xie Lian, as depicted in the Heaven Official’s Blessing donghua series. ©BiliBili/Haoliners Animation League

The “Body in abyss, heart in paradise” Crown Prince is wearing an intricate mask bearing deep references to Chinese culture, which is, sadly, lost on the majority of international fans. Namely, the mask displays a sophisticated art of lacquer line carving, which originates in the Fujian province of China.

Thankfully, the Anime Made by BiliBili YouTube channel has graced Tian Guan Ci Fu fans with a short video detailing the practice, which you can see immediately below:

As for the art of lacquer line carving, the best-known school comes from Quanzhou. The other, slightly different one originates in Xiamen. Both cities are located within the Fujian province. Xiamen lacquer line carving is different in that it features more complex workmanship.

The art of lacquer line carving has been around since the Tang Dynasty and was originally intended for decorating Buddha statues. Hence, the original term translates to “Decoration for a Buddha statue”. Over the years, the handicraft has evolved into what is known as the ‘lacquer line art on bottles and plates.’

Nowadays, the art goes by the name “lacquer line carving.”

Check out where to watch Heaven Official’s Blessing with English subs.

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By Maja D.

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