Located in Dali city, southwest China’s Yunnan province, Shuanglang town, though a famous tourist attraction now, still had a poverty-stricken village called Huoshan village a few years ago.
Due to terrible traffic conditions, with tough roads and barren land with inadequate rain, villagers of Huoshan had been living an extremely poor life until the establishment of a painting community founded by Shen Jianhua in 2010 for Bai ethnic farmers. Shen taught the local seniors to paint the folk art of the Bai ethnic minority.
Wang Bingxiu, an 86-year-old woman, became his first student. Ten years on, the painting community has enrolled 10 more members, with the youngest one in the 50s and the oldest at 80. Besides teaching, the community also designed many picture albums, scarves and other cultural products, which greatly improved the income of local farmers by selling them.
The development of the cultural industries turned Huoshan into a village with a picturesque landscape, and every dwelling is decorated with green tiles and white walls. It has already become a scenic spot and attracted many artists and tourists. The surprising changes have turned this poor village into a beautiful backyard garden of Shuanglang town within only a few years.
(Text compiled by Xie Fuyu; video edited by Li Yueyi)