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Engraver creates stamps, popularizes information about small illustrated annals of China's history

Updated: Oct 10, 2019 womenofchina.cn Print
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Dong Qi, who works for the Postage Stamp Printing Bureau, under the China Post Group Corporation (in Beijing), is one of two third-generation inheritors of the stamp-engraving craft. [For Women of China]

In 2010, Dong earned her master's degree in artistic design at the Chinese National Academy of Arts. Two years later, she attended the training course provided by Martin Mörck, a Norwegian artist and engraver of postage stamps and banknotes. China Post Group Corporation and Denmark Post Group Corporation invited Mörck to provide the course. Dong treasured the opportunity to study, and she worked hard to improve her artistic skills.

To fulfill her task on time, Dong often works day and night. "Although I'm exhausted after long hours of work, I'm delighted to see my fruitful results," says Dong.

Under the experienced workers' guidance, Dong in recent years has created many postage stamps and postcards, with different themes.

Pursuing Perfection

Given her enthusiasm for beautiful things, and her persevering effort to improve her artistic skills, Dong has made rapid progress in honing her skills during the past decade. Many stamps (created by her), with different themes, such as the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the 12th National People's Congress, have been well received.

When the corporation announced, in May 2018, it would use the paintings of Han Meilin (a well-known Chinese artist) as the draft for the design of zodiac stamps for China's Year of the Pig (2019), Dong and nine other stamp engravers were eager to have a try. Given her superb painting and engraving skills, and her thorough understanding of Han's artistic style, Dong's design of Fat Pig Wangfu won. Xu Zhe, Dong's colleague, was chosen as the engraver of "Five Fortunes," the other zodiac stamp for the year. Dong depicted an adorable pig running swiftly, which embodied people's desire to enjoy the good life. In Xu's picture, one may see a harmonious pig's family — pig parents with their three kids.

Dong, who suffered from shingles (a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a localized area), worked day and night to create the stamp. She and Xu asked their colleagues, master engravers and experts in platemaking, to help them improve their artworks. Eventually, Dong was relieved to see their designs were approved by their leaders.

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