Chinese Folk Arts
The papercuts of Shanxi feature a wide variety of themes, including flowers, human figures, animals, legends, folk tales all stoties from operatic works, and showing a bold and unrestrained style, simple and unsophisticated presentation and strong local
characteristics. There are two types - colored and monochrome.
The Huishan clay figurines made in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province emerged in the Ming Dynasty and have a history of over 400 years. Thanks to their unique art style, these colored figurines have been well received by the Chinese people throughout the country and have been sold to 50 countries and regions. Masters of the art have given demonstrations in Japan, the U. S., Australia and other counthies. Hence Huishan clay figurines display the best color modeling art in the East.
A coloured sheep
Woodblock New Year Pictures
Yanghabu Woodblock New Year Pictures Originated in the Ming Dynasty. Yangjiabu is located near Weifang City in Shandong Province. The original settlers, mostly with the family name Yang,
moved here from Zitong County in Sichuan Province during Hongwu reign period of the Ming Dynasty. The woodblock pictures used New Year decorations have mainly Buddhist themes, while the horizontal wall pictures are based on woodblock illustrations.
Yangjiabu new year pictures
The folding fan is a folk handicraft for use in cooling oneself in summer, and is also used as a decoration or a stage prop in traditional Chinese operas. Due to their fine workmanship, the
folding fans produced in Rongchang, Chongqing, are prized both at home and abroad. Since ancient times, Rongchang folding fans have been sold well throughout the country, as well as to India, Myanmar and other countries.
Embroidery is traditional Chinese handicraft art. which is divided into the SuZhou, Sichuan, Guangdong and Hunan schools. Suzhou embroidery is celebrated for its sophisticated stitching, vivid pictures, beautiful patterns and elegant colors. Human Embroidery emphasizes vivid patterns. Guangdong and Sichuan embroideries feature popular motifs, such as a peacock spreading its tail, a magpie on the branch of a plum tree, pines and cranes as symbols
of long life, two dragons playing with a ball, and a phoenix and Peony. The embroidery items have varied themes: Some are romantic and exaggerative, others reflect the reality, or are vivid
and true to life. Both are of practical and ornamental uses.
Yang Liuqing New Year Pictures
One of China's three famous folk New Year picture styles, Yang Liuqing New Year Pictures originated in Yang Liuqing Town, in the westem suburbs of Tianjin City, in the early l7th century. Adopting the method of integrating block printing and hand-colored decoration, they are characterized by varied themes such, as brightness, vivacity, happiness, auspiciousness and fascination. The pictures by the young people in Yang Liuqing have enjoyed ahigh reputation in China.
Yangliuqing newyear pictures
Farmer Calligraphy and Paintings
Xukou Town in Jiansu Province is known as a "town of Chinese Calligraphy and Paintings". Yushe and Yaoshe villages in the County are particularly famous for their output of calligraphy and painting. Over five million calligraphy and paintings have been produced in the County by more than 600 artists since 1956. In 1988 the "Youth Calligraphy and Painting Research Society of the Fragrant Hill of Wuxian County" was established. Xukou village's farmer paintings are renowned for their unique style integrating a strong flavor of life with the fragrance of the soil. Huangzhong County in Qinghai Province is also called a "County of farmer Calligraphy and Paintings" by artists. Over 70 local farmer painters have created more than 1, 000 art works, of
which some have been displayed in the international and national exhibitions. Their paintings are characterized by a simple, vigorous natural and fresh style with traditional folk features.
China Huxian peasant pantings
Shadow Plays, Puppets and Marionettes
Shadow plays are a traditional folk art, the origin of which can be traced back to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC ~ 24 AD). With puppets made out of cow's leather or donkey hide, the shadow
play figures of the Guanzhong area of Shaanai Province are modeled on the stone relief pattems of the Han Dynasty, the academic-style painting of the Song Dynasty and folk paper-cuts. Guanzhong shadow play figures are popular with collectors and as home decorations. Yangzhou's puppets are controlled by three wooden sticks - one to maulpulate the ears, eyes, nose and mouth of the puppet, and the other two to manipulate the puppet's hands. The music of the show is based on Beijing and local operas. The Yangzhou Puppet ArtTroupe has toured many countries and regions in the world, such as Japan, the United States, Australia, Russia, France, Italy, Holland, Taiwan and Hong Kong and has been well received by the audiences.
Quanzhou City in Fujian Province is noted for its marionettes. Four puppeteers manipulate the figures, each of which can have up to 30 strings. Two international puppet festivals were held in
Quanzhou in l986 and l990, respectively, in which over 300 artists from all over the world participated, including those from Britain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Holland, Japan and the
Philippines. Quanzhou also hosted the International Puppet Festival February 2002.
Chinese leather shadow play puppet
Stone Carvings of Hui'an
The stone carvings of the Hui'an area of Fujian Province have a history of over 1,600 years. Over the centuries, they have developed into over 250 varieties in six categories. Hui'an stonemasons created such treasures as the East and West pagodas in Quanzhou, the peristyles of the Dragon Hill Temple in TaiPei, the stone lion at the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing, the statue of
Zheng Chenggong on Drumming Wave Islet in Xiamen, and the peristyles of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The stone carvings by Hui'an have a ready market at home and abroad.
The Capital of Porcelain
Located in northeastern Jiangxi Province, Jingdezhen is one of the famous historic and cultural cities in China. It has a l,000-year history of making porcelain, and has long been known as the
"Capital of Porcelain". During the Sui and Tang Dynasties, the white-glazed porcelain produced in JingdeZhen was called "Artificial Jade ware".