Water. The essence of life. It flows through us, as it flows through Earth itself. The Yellow River, the second longest river in Asia, can attest to this.
Duan Xu, a scholar of the Ming dynasty saw the importance of water—the powerful element. By inventing the Lanzhou Waterwheel, Duan Xu channeled the power of the Yellow River to irrigate local crops. This brought prosper to the dry lands of Lanzhou.
The art of making the Lanzhou Waterwheel was all but lost in the 21st century, until Duan Xu’s 20th descendent Duan Yicun took it upon himself to study and learn the craft. Now 74 years old, Duan Yicun finds the waterwheel market chaotic and competitive.
Looking to his apprentice and future generations to inherit the craft of waterwheel making, he is hopeful the tradition will continue and the quality standards of the Lanzhou Waterwheel will be upheld.
Duan Yicun looks to the future, as the Yellow River has yet another role to play in the community of Lanzhou and China abroad.