A senior citizen from Hai’an county in Jiangsu province has spent the last four months making a very, very big erhu to earn himself the title of Guinness world record holder.
The erhu, a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, sometimes known in the Western world as the “Chinese violin,” is often used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras. Its history is believed to date back more than 1,000 years.
Ji Jiarong’s self-made giant erhu is an incredible 4.98 meters in height, weighs 50 kilograms and has a bow length of 4.5 meters. Ji even painted a dragon on the neck of the instrument.
It’s incredibly impressive to look at, but somewhat inconvenient to play. It requires three performers playing together, two drawing the bow while the other presses down the strings.
Ji, 74 years old, has been walking with difficulty ever since he suffered through polio during his childhood. Later in life, he became an erhu enthusiast playing the instrument with a musical group in town.
As he grew older, Ji became even more obsessed with the erhu. He began playing with seven other enthusiasts. When their instruments broke, there was no place where they could easily get them fixed. It was then that Ji began to study how the erhu is made
In 1996, he bought some materials and made his first erhu in just 10 days.
And now look at him!
By Lucy Liu
[Images via CCTV News]