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Post-90s Chinese girl builds replica of a wood pavilion found at the Forbidden City

Updated: May 11, 2021 People's Daily Online Print
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Su Qingwu, a post-90s girl from Wenzhou, east China's Zhejiang province.[Photo provided to People's Daily Online]

Su Qingwu, a post-90s girl from Wenzhou, east China's Zhejiang province, has recently amazed netizens by building a replica of a wood pavilion found at the world-renowned Forbidden City in the courtyard of her own home, without relying on glue or nails.

Su spent five months and roughly 10,000 yuan ($1,544) completing the construction of the pavilion.

Su's story is an extraordinary one because the young woman, who is now an independent photographer, never attended a class on architecture or carpentry before and completed all the construction work by herself throughout the whole process, other than her parents helping her to carry wooden pillars for the pavilion.

Out of her love for the architecture of the Forbidden City, Su decided in May of last year to build a pavilion in imitation of the techniques used in constructing the treasured masterpiece of ancient Chinese architecture. To make this happen, the young woman, who previously lacked even the most basic knowledge about architecture, began from then on to learn woodworking skills by examining academic papers, such as learning an ancient Chinese mortise and tenon technique, and by watching related instructional videos.

Su even visited the Forbidden City herself to inspect the specific pavilion she intended to copy and examined its unique mortise and tenon joint structure. Back home, she applied the same mortise and tenon joints found in the Forbidden City.

Su's amazing achievement has won high praise from her parents, who initially did not support their daughter in building the pavilion. Whenever the family has guests at home, Su's father always guides them to the pavilion and tells them that the pavilion is his daughter's masterpiece.

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