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Gourd Sisters from Taigu

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-06-05

Gourd Sisters from Taigu

A finished gourd shows its exquisite, fine details. [Photo/sxrb.com]

Twin sisters Chen Bei and Chen Lei have produced such beautiful gourd pyrography that their work has become a program of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Taigu county, Shanxi province.

The twins were seen selling their works at a stall at a supermarket near a tourist attraction in Taigu county on April 22, Shanxi Daily reported.

Bei and Lei had osteogenesis imperfecta, a brittle bone disease known as "China doll syndrome", since they were very young. Their bones are particularly fragile and break easily. They are both very short and look like children although they are now 31 years old.

The two sisters have always loved drawing and have had lessons from famous art teachers so they now decorate gourds and sell them to Beijing, Shandong and abroad.

The China Disabled Persons Federation (CDPF) has collected works from all over the country and launched Folk Art Exhibition for The Disabled in 2009. Chen Bei and Chen Lei's gourd pyrography work, Ancient City of Pingyao, was recommended by the relevant departments of Shanxi province and was chosen to participate in the National Folk Art Exhibition for The Disabled.

The gourd sisters' home became the Gourd Pyrography Training Base for CDPF in 2012. Through funding support, more and more people with disabilities have visited the base to learn skills from Chen Bei and Chen Lei. More than 40 disabled people have completed the lessons, and some of them are now engaged in gourd pyrography work.

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