Wenfeng You, a Hezhen craftsperson born in Tongjiang, Heilongjiang Province, NorthEast China is finally getting some recognition about her outstanding work at preserving the Hezhen traditional fish skin craft. Like the rest of her family, she fished for a living. She has learnt the fish skin craft from her mother and grandmother. Since her mother passed away, Wen Fengyou has shouldered the responsibility of keeping this dying craft alive.

When, in 2006, the Hezhen method of making clothes with fish skin was listed a national intangible cultural heritage, You Wen Feng You was appointed its heir. She is now in her late sixties and she has produced more than 20 suits for museums in Japan and China. I was extremely lucky to collaborate with Ms. Fengyou in 2018 to teach a group of 20 UAL Chinese students traditional methods of tanning fish skin developed by the Hezhe ethnic minority.