Sheltered from the frantic sounds of a city desperate to modernize, Yang Fuxi sits serenely in his workshop in central Beijing, whittling a stick of bamboo into a hunter’s bow, just as his ancestors did 300 years before.
But Yang has plied the trade for only eight years. He took it up only after failing to make a living as a chemical worker and cab-driver in the cut-and-thrust of modern Beijing.
The sole remaining heir of a family business that supplied imperial officials with exquisitely carved weapons, 48-year-old Yang’s only workshop colleagues are a group of kittens.
(Photo of Yang Fuxi)