Master Peng is meticulously weaving corn-husk mats.
In front of the corn husk mat with intricately a braided deer pattern, you can’t help being amazed. But could you imagine this is from the hands of a deaf mute peasant?
Heping Peng is a deaf and physically disabled peasant farmer living in a remote village of Shanxi Province in China. In addition to being a talented craftsman of corn husk braided mats, Master Pent is a big fan of literature subscribing to, reading and contributing to several magazines and newspapers on a regular basis for years and lives on the incomes from one third hectare of farmland.
Master Peng got deaf when he was 12 years old during a medical accident to treat his fever. Misery loves company. Soon after that, his right leg got a serious sore and the poor family had not enough money to have him cured and he ended up as a lame person. He has since quit school, working on the field in day time and reading books at night. When Chilture’s team first paid a visit to Master Peng, they found in amazement piles of books, newspapers, magazines scattered on his bed. They wrote on paper to communicate on matters from Chinese history, literature to politics and economy. Master Peng’s profound thoughts on all these fields impressed the team a lot, considering he’s been confined to the overlooked mountain village for nearly fifty years.
He wrote: “Green should and will be the theme of future economy of China; otherwise the booming Chinese economy can’t go far.”
Master Peng is featured writing an article in the local newspaper.
However, literature never brings him money and the farmland incomes are meager, he decided to learn a skill to make a living. After several times of walking to a craftsman skilled in corn husk mats in a town dozens of miles away from his own over twenty years ago, he was finally apprenticed to learn corn husk braided mats, which simply turned out to be lacking a significant regular customer base in rural parts of China. So fate has left Heping living in a cave room alone.
But Mr. Peng wrote: “I don’t believe in fate. I’ll keep honing my skills and I believe people out there somewhere will someday appreciate my corn husk mats, which are natural, pollution-free and environment-friendly, being entirely handmade (from husks of corn), intricately woven, with personalized designs and patterns, designed to meet various customers’ life and work circumstances.” Delightingly, these years, Mr. Peng has extended his corn husk braided crafts to corn husk bags.
For more inspiring works of this artist, please visit this webpage.