Venue: Hutong Residence
Duration: 2-3 hours
Summary: Intrigued by the skills inherent in traditional Chinese Handicrafts? Would you like to try your own hand at creating a work of oriental art?
Here is your chance. In a quiet Hutong residence, you can choose to learn from experts; Chinese Knot, Paper-cut to Flower or Clay figure, whichever arouses your interest.
According to unearthed relics, paper cutting appeared as early as the Northern Dynasty (386 AD - 581 AD), a history of more than 1,500 years. At first, paper-cutting was only popular in the countryside, and the masters were farmwives. Today, the art has developed into a form that can fully represent Chinese traditional folk culture. As paper-cutting combines several folk art forms, including painting and cutting, it is a pathway to the study of traditional Chinese folk art.
Paper-cuts often display a strong geographic influence, with many distinctive styles throughout China. Paper cutting is rich in content from animals and plants to vividly depicted scenes from daily life; some are even created as a series to portray an interesting Chinese legend. Some are cut on one sheet into many creatures of the world, with great imagination.
Paper cutting falls into the many categories according to their sticking places and functions. There are cuttings for window, door, wall, and those for roof and light as well as for marriage and different festivals. Many of them are used during the New Year and marriage to add to the happy and auspicious atmosphere. Paper cutting requires simple tools consisting only of engraving knives, scissors and papers, but cannot succeed without deft skill, experience and patience.
Chinese Knots are a decorative handicraft that began as a folk art in the Tang and Song Dynasties and became popular during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is distinctive, for its complicated pattern is woven separately from one piece of thread. Chinese people have known how to tie knots using cords ever since they learned how to attach animal fur to their bodies to keep warm thousands of years ago. As civilization advanced, Chinese people used knots for more than just fastening and wrapping; some knots were also used to record events, while others had ornamental functions. A ‘Chinese knot' represents reunion, peace, marriage, love, acquaintance and are often used to express allied good wishes. Large Chinese knots serving as wall hangings have the same decorative value as fine paintings or photographs, and are perfectly suitable for decorating a parlour or study as well as the hall. Symmetric patterns suit the aesthetic standards of the Chinese people and are the most visually popular. Large Chinese knots serving as wall hangings have the same decorative value as fine paintings or photographs, and are perfectly suitable for decorating a parlour or study as well as the hall. The Chinese knot, with its classic elegance and ever-changing patterns, is both practical and ornamental, fully reflecting the grace of Chinese culture.
Clay Figurine Zhang
Clay Figurines Zhang is a school of clay figurine in Northern China, which was initiated by Zhang Mingshan in the late Qing Dynasty. Zhang was born in a poor family in Tianjin city, where he learned the skill of clay figurines from his father at a very young age. Zhang was clever, deft and full of imagination. He carefully observed people from different walks of life, so that he would make vividly realistic clay figurines of people he met. Clay figurines created by Zhang include heroes and villains from Chinese folk stories, novels, and operas as well as scenes from daily life.
Zhang not only inherited the legacy of traditional skills but also incorporated skills from other art forms such as painting and wood engravings. He created more than 10,000 clay figurines during his whole life and his unique handicrafts became famous and valuable both at home and abroad.