(Reporter: Author Wu Jingjing / Photographer Xiao Mingliang) When the reporter walked into the Jing’an flower shop on the road of Wuding, he/she was immediately attracted by colorful and fragrant flower arrangements. Pure lilies, charming roses, passionate African daisies, etc., a variety of flowers seem to be given a new life on the hands of Zhu Daoyi, Department Manager of Shanghai Jing’an Greenland Development Co., Ltd., providing people with delectable enjoyment. “Flower arrangement not only becomes my hobby, but also helps me to know myself better. I hope to deliver the beauty of flower arrangement to more people.” Zhu Daoyi, who was awarded the “National May 1st Labor Medal” and honorary title of “first batch of Shanghai Craftsmen”, said that the knowledge of flower arrangement is boundless, therefore, he will keep learning and improving to create more and better works.
A young man develops a liking for flower arrangement
Over 20 years ago, Zhu Daoyi came to Shanghai from the rural areas of Anhui. By chance, he met the Chinese flower arranging master—Liang Shengfang. With his guidance and teaching, Zhu Daoyi stepped on the way of learning the art of flower arrangement. Zhu Daoyi knew that he was weak in basics, so he invested more time and energy than others. While learning the theoretical knowledge of flower arrangement, he has been learning the Chinese traditional cultures. Zhu Daoyi said that he likes to read The Book of Songs most. The descriptions of expressing love by flowers and wearing flowers make he feels so romantic. He wishes that his works can be full of charming magic like the floating words in the book.
“At that time, what I thought was all about flowers.” Zhu Daoyi told the reporter that, it is really hard to work in a flower shop. He needs to go to the flower market for purchase in the small hours of a day, and open the shop at 7 or 8 am. At the end of the day, he will stay in the shop and practice with the rest of flowers and materials. Every day is full and happy. The days before and after the Spring Festival are the busiest days of the flower shop. For more than 20 New Year's Eves, he was unable to stay with his families due to the work. However, his hard work was paid off. He has won gold prizes in national and municipal flower arranging art competitions in succession. The list of award certificates and honorary titles is also the most unquestionable affirmation of Zhu Daoyi's skill in arranging flowers. But he was not pleased with himself because of these achievements. He always thinks that “skilled worker ushers in the gate, leads a pious life depending on individual”. With this belief, he spends his leisure time in various art exhibitions such as exhibitions of paintings and sculptures, learning the applying of color and spatial arrangement of masters, getting inspirations, and adopting into his own works.
Creating an outstanding green maintenance team
Walking on the road, you may be attracted by the plants and flowers between the roads. The unique flower boxes in the heavy traffic add a distinct charm to the city. Zhu Daoyi and his team have made contributions to it as well. As the backbone of the Department, Zhu Daoyi has a particularly heavy burden. He has to do everything by himself from logistics management to the construction of the front line, but he has no regrets. He only has one target in the heart that to build the green maintenance team as a capable, renowned and successful team. He actively carries out employee training and team or group learning, to improve the professional skills of employees and to fully mobilize the enthusiasm of the employees, thus making every staff devote to the greening of Shanghai and the environmental construction. “A single flower does not make the spring.” Zhu Daoyi said that, most of the workers at the production line in Greening Department are generally not highly educated and not experienced in professional skills. But as long as they are willing to learn and pay effort, he has the confidence to finish their apprenticeship. Training reserve forces is what Zhu Daoyi has been insisting on for years, and he teaches flower arranging skills unreservedly to his apprentices. Everything comes to him who waits. Now these students are cutting a figure and winning prizes in a variety of flower competitions.
Being grateful and dedicated to society
Zhu Daoyi said that he cannot get the achievements without teaching and help from the teacher. So he has always been thankful, hoping to help others and contribute to the society. The project of Green Caravan in Communities implemented by Jing’an Afforestation Bureau holds 30 popularization lectures of greening science every year, and Zhu Daoyi actively devotes himself to it, benefiting more than a thousand of people. Moreover, he cooperates with and organizes the lectures and training of Shanghai Zhishan Youth Development Service Center in flower arranging; and he provides his cooperating organizations with two or three times of free public lectures monthly, almost 500 people will be trained a year, including employees of enterprises and public institutions and children with dementia. People feel the beauty of flower arranging art while learning the skills.
Zhu Daoyi has given up countless rest days and holidays, formed the team of community greening, sent flowers and books to each family, provided consulting, problem-solving, demonstration for community residents, held flower arrangement exhibition for the community, taught in the community’s senior-citizen university, answered the flower and health knowledge for white-collar workers and school’s teachers and students, and demonstrated a variety of flower arrangement arts. In the community and senior university, the eldest student is nearly 90 years old, who is still be passionate about life and insisting on attendance. This inspired Zhu Daoyi greatly: the standard of living is improving, and the pursuit of beauty is becoming stronger and stronger. As a result, Zhu Daoyi is getting more passionate about his career, and genuinely pleased that he could become a messenger of beauty and enrich people's spare-time cultural life.