For countless years, the Miao have worn silver jewelry. They have carried it with them on great migrations, and worn it to ward off evil or attract good fortune.
Gathering by the river's edge, shimmering from head to toe, they dance in step to the beat of a drum. From a distance, they look like rippling waves of silver. The weight of a whole set of silver jewelry is 12-13 kg, depending on the craftsmanship, the price ranges from 70,000~180,000 RMB.
When Wu Guozheng started his own business in 1991, he only had enough seed money to buy silver for making small objects like bracelets and earrings. With the growth in business, he started to make bigger ones such as crowns.
Wu Guozheng learned each of these processes from his father. As a child, he would help out in the family workshop after school, gradually learning all the techniques to become a master silversmith. His children learned the skills the same way.
Customers who admire Wu Guozheng's craftsmanship usually come to his house to make purchases. Besides, every six days, Wu attends the county fair and sell his work there among other silversmiths. He engraves his name on each piece of his work as the hallmark not only for the purity of the silver but also for life-time quality guarantee. As long as the future generations are still in the business, this hallmark will be recognized.
Wu Guozheng says that silversmithing paid for his son and daughter's educations. Thought they have both found jobs in the city, they haven't abandoned this family heritage. They make silver jewelries in their spare time and sell them online, distributing the Wu family's craftsmanship all over the country.
In Collaboration with Riverbend Academy of Hmongology, Guizhou, China
--- Exhibition Crew ---
Culture Consultants: Yang Peide, An Hong
Project Coordinator: Cecilia Xiong
Exhibition Curator: Lin Wen (email@example.com)
Chief Photographer: Austin Kramer
Other Photographers: Huang Xiaohai, Shi Kaibao, Lin Wen
Content Writer: Lin Wen
Translator: Austin Kramer, Li Yi, Liu Qing, Lin Wen
Proofreader: Austin Kramer
Video Clip Editor: Lin Wen
--- Mini Documentary Film Crew ---
Director: Lu Ying
Assistant Director: Zhang Te
Video Photographer: Zhi Yuehui, Zhang Te, Ji Xiang
Film Editor: Lu Ying, Zhi Yuehui, Suiwu Changjun
Script Writer: Yang Peide
Script Editor: Lin Wen
Color Adjust: Zhong Rujie, Zhi Yuehui
Music: Audio Jungle
Recording: Chenguang Recording Studio