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Soaring Spirit
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  • Kong Lingmin holds a newly-made kite in front of his home
  • Kong displays a kite, an equivalent of which was sold for over 10,000 yuan ($1,560) many years ago
  • Kong paints a kite
  • Kite-making tools ready to go
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Kong Lingmin, a 72-year-old Beijinger is the second generation maker of the Cao kite, which was developed by his father in the 1940s by drawing from a book on kite-making written by Cao Xueqin, author of A Dream of the Red Mansions, during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Kong, along with his father and son, have been identified as national non-material cultural heritage inheritors, with their works collected and featured by museums in both China and abroad.

Cao wrote the book on kite-making in order to teach the poor to make a living, Kong said, adding that it’s not only an honor but also a responsibility to be a cultural heritage inheritor.

“We should not only spread the techniques but also the spirit of social service,” Kong told Beijing Review.

(Photos by Wei Yao)

Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo

Comments to dingying@bjreview.com

 

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