Butterfly wings make fragile, delicate art

By Sun Ruisheng and Zhou Huiying (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2019-12-11

At the Fourth Shanxi Cultural Industries Fair in Taiyuan, capital of North China's Shanxi province, four paintings displayed in the Hall of Changzhi have attracted lots of visitors.

They differ from common paintings of oils or watercolors — they are created with butterflies' wings.

"This art has a long history dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but it is not easy to make and preserve because the wings are very fragile," said creator Li Jianjun, a master of arts and crafts in the province.

"Usually it needs more than 500 pairs of wings and nearly a month to finish a painting after 10 procedures, including pasting, drying and corrosion prevention."

"I got the wings from captive-bred butterflies that died of natural causes," he added. "I hope to transform their short lives into eternal artwork."