The 81-year-old erhu "artist" in Jiujiang inherits the culture and makes more people fall in love with the erhu

247 views · Organized by 八日蝉 on 2022-09-26

As long as he talks about his beloved erhu, Jiujiang's 81-year-old Gu Cunxiong's eyes are full of brilliance. As a non-genetic inheritor of erhu craftsmanship, he has been immersed in erhu making all his life, and he has kept improving and studied hard in the craftsmanship and timbre of the erhu, making the art of erhu making perfect day by day. He cultivated his own Longyun Erhu brand carefully and painstakingly, and became a dark horse in the erhu production industry.

Concentrate on research and encounter setbacks and never give up

In the studio with bursts of woody fragrance, there seems to be a magical power that can isolate the noise of the outside world, allowing Gu Cunxiong to immerse himself in the world of piano making, and carefully polish the piano rod in his hand. The erhu he made is not only a musical instrument, but also a work of art.

The 81-year-old erhu

The craftsmanship of erhu can be divided into seven procedures: stem making, piano barrel making, piano holder making, piano shaft making, skin, sound window making, and raw lacquer craftsmanship, among which the skinning craft is more complicated. At that time, Gu Cunxiong's Longyun company had just started, and its career was on the rise. During this period, due to various reasons, the master in charge of skinning resigned, which put erhu production in a difficult situation, but also opened the way for Gu Cunxiong to make erhu.

"Even if the road ahead is full of thorns, I will never admit defeat." Gu Cunxiong said. During that time he locked himself in the workshop and worked hard on skinning techniques. While exploring and thinking, relying on his own understanding and dedication to the art of erhu making, he not only mastered the core technology of violin making, but also found his own path.

"I like erhu, I just want to do better than others." Gu Cunxiong commented that his production of erhu is continuous improvement and never complacent. It is this perpetual enterprising spirit that his handmade Erhu has broken through the traditional craftsmanship. The appearance is made of national lacquer, which is environmentally friendly, resistant to high temperature, acid and alkali, and is durable for a long time. The process is more stable; the distance between the bridge and the strings is changed, so that the erhu combines the sound quality characteristics of the north and south erhus in the tone.

The 81-year-old erhu

In 2004, Gu Cunxiong took part in the first national erhu making competition with his skinned erhu. The two violins that participated in the competition won the first-class gold award after strict evaluation. This greatly increased Gu Cunxiong's confidence, and the company gradually got on the right track.

Seiko is careful to do every erhu well

Although the structure of the erhu looks simple, its production process is very complicated, and every step is a delicate handwork. Although his eyesight is no longer as good as before, Gu Cunxiong was attentive and proficient in making the erhu.

The 81-year-old erhu

"Concentrate on doing one thing, do things to the extreme, and achieve the heights that others cannot reach." In order to better develop his own business, Gu Cunxiong initially played the banner of Longyun in Beijing. "In the past few years in Beijing, it was very helpful to me." Gu Cunxiong said that many performers have come to factories in Beijing, and these professionals have given him a lot of guidance on erhu tone and sound quality. After working with professional erhu performers With frequent contact, Gu Cunxiong's identification ability and violin making realm are getting higher and higher.

For most of his life, Gu Cunxiong has made countless erhus, and the timbre he made is very good, and many buyers come here because of his reputation. In his opinion, the erhu is a thing with vitality and spirituality, and each one is different. Only by pouring emotion into the making of the erhu, can the erhu be given life. Since the beginning of the business, he firmly believes that for a craft and an enterprise, only high quality can survive, and the product must be carefully researched and the customer must be treated sincerely. He put forward the promise of "no reason to return within three years". Although it has put a lot of pressure on his factory, each piano is meticulously crafted, escorting the promise with quality, and providing customers with higher-quality musical instrument products.

The 81-year-old erhu

It is by virtue of the superb erhu production technology and sincere marketing concept. Gu Cunxiong's handcrafted erhu has won gold medals in the 2009 Treasure Erhu Selection Competition and the 2011 Treasure Erhu Selection Competition. Gu Cunxiong, who is keen on the study of erhu and music theory, also published a paper on "China Erhu Newsletter" "A Brief Discussion on the Processing of Python Skin and the Leather-covering Process in the Production of Erhu". In 2019, Gu Cunxiong was awarded the honorary title of "Erhu Master" and was named a famous violin maker that performers care about and like. In April of the same year, Gu Cunxiong's traditional erhu craftsmanship was rated as Jiujiang municipal intangible cultural heritage. Longyun Erhu has also occupied a certain market share with its sophisticated production technology.

Inheriting culture   makes more people fall in love with erhu

Erhu, also known as "Huqin", originated in the Tang Dynasty and originated from an ethnic minority in the northern part of ancient my country. It is one of the main bowed and stringed instruments of the Chinese nation. For many years, Gu Cunxiong has not left his beloved erhu production, for him, erhu has been a part of his life.

The 81-year-old erhu

"I hope more people will understand the erhu, listen to the erhu, and fall in love with the erhu." Over the years, Gu Cunxiong has been working hard to promote the erhu culture. "The role is to cultivate the younger generation of erhu-making talents, hand-on-hand to teach a lifetime of hard work, so that the erhu craftsmanship can be passed on from generation to generation. Today, Gu Cunxiong has a second generation of inheritors, and he is using his own efforts to make erhu culture known to more people.

"This is a kind of cultural inheritance. Now there are not many people who can pull the erhu, and there are fewer people who really use the traditional craftsmanship to make the erhu. I am willing to do it, and I want to pass on this craftsmanship." Gu Cunxiong said.

Now that he is over eighty years old, Gu Cunxiong is still sticking to the front line of making pianos, and he still does the top-grade piano skins by himself. One person and several erhus, his pursuit of timbre and details, and his awe and adherence to traditional handicrafts.

Reference materials and contributors

Involving musical instruments

Erhu (Pinyin: Erhu) originated in the Tang Dynasty, called "Xiqin", and has a history of more than a thousand years. It is a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. Erhu, or Erxian Huqin, also known as "Nanhu" and "Omzi", is one of the main bowed and stringed instruments (wiping strings) in the Chinese national musical instrument family.

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