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北 京 科 技 大 学 University of Science and Technology Beijing

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design 郑阳老师 / Professor Zheng Yang

作业1号 / Homework Nº1 Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art

丽芳 / Lai Guim 2012年12月07日


Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art

HOMEWORK: The assignment of week-10 is analyzing 9 pieces of Folk handicrafts. Your analisis may include their provenance, geographical feature, crafts, materials, applications, origins, commercialization, and anything necessary in your opinion. It’s important to choose 1 piece of Folk handicrafts from the 9 and get deeper research on it in the following weeks. Our final design of this course should be relative to the Folk handicrafts you choosed. The form of the design is not limited. For example, you can choose Service Design, Business Planning, Apps Design, Web Design, etc.

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

作业1号 / Homework Nº 1 - Page 1


Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1.

2.

Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.1

Lacquer Ware

1.2

Paper Cut Art

1.3

Beijing Enamel and Cloisonne

1.4

Oil-paper Umbrella

1.5

Paper Kites

1.6

Plaiting and Weaving Crafts

1.7

Beijing Palace Lantern

1.8

Artistic Fan Making

1.9

Tibetan Mandalas

List of Resources

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

作业1号 / Homework Nº 1 - Page 2


Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.1

Lacquer Ware

DESCRIPTION Chinese lacquer ware is renowned throughout the world for its smooth and professional style. Using natural elements for coating and featuring rich designs, Chinese woodcraft is highly sought after by many throughout the world. It is regarded as a true symbol of Chinese culture and is forever imprinted in the Chinese heritage. There are many different and unique styles of varnished ornaments and woodcraft within China from provinces such as Yangzhou and Fuzhou to the capital, Beijing. Each province has a unique style of carving and many pieces of lacquer ware can be easily distinguished by their aesthetic appearance. TECHNIQUE Throughout the numerous centuries, Chinese craftsmen have perfected lacquer ware into a well regarded form of art. Many woodcrafts feature elaborate designs and carvings which are protected from harm and erosion by the unique variations of lacquer used in Chinese lacquer ware. Chinese woodcraft uses natural varnish created from the sap of the native lacquer tree which is abundant in the south regions of China. It is known for its strong resistance to water, acid, heat and alkaline corrosion. Many thin layers are added by hand to create the protective coat needed for quality woodcraft. Each layer must air dry before the next can be added creating a smooth, polished finish. This allows the craftsmen to carefully create intricate and beautifully carved designs on the wood. There are also many different decorative techniques unique to different parts of China including gold and silver inlays, mother-of-pearl inlays and paint fillings. HISTORY Chinese lacquer ware was created over 7000 years ago in the Neolithic Period (10000 – 2000 BC). In 1978, a small red lacquered bowl was discovered in Yuyao, Zhejiang Province making it the oldest varnished ornament in the world. It wasn’t until the Han Dynasty (206 BC- 220 AD), that lacquer ware started replacing bronze and was used for everyday utensils and furniture. Techniques such as gold and silver inlay and carved designs

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

作业1号 / Homework Nº 1 - Page 3


Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.1

Lacquer Ware

were increasingly popular from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) and on wards. However, due to the emergence of ceramics, lacquer ware started to disappear from everyday life and valued more for its artistic qualities. Within the Song Dynasty (960-1279), single-coloured lacquer ware was prevalent within China. The simplicity of single colour lacquer ware allowed craftsmen to focus on the design and smooth texture needed to create rich and unique woodcraft similar to popular designs created today. In the Ming (13681644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasties, lacquer ware was primarily used for decoration rather than for practical purposes. Lacquer ware entered a new age for architecture and design. GEOGRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Beijing Carved Lacquer Ware Beijing Gold Inlaid Lacquer Pingyao Polished Lacquer Ware Yangzhou Lacquer Ware Ningbo Golden Painted Lacquer Yuncheng Carved Lacquer Ware

Chengdu Lacquer Ware Guizhou Dafang Lacquer Ware

Fujian Bodiless Lacquer Ware Yichun Bodiless Lacquer Ware Yangjiang Lacquer Ware Tianshui Lacquer Ware

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.2

Paper Cut Art

DESCRIPTION Paper cutting was one of the first folk arts to begin in China. Throughout the centuries, it has been used for many different reasons and featured within many different festivals and celebrations. Paper cutting is now an art form in many different countries; however, China is the only country which includes it as part of its ancient traditional culture and heritage. Paper cutting was originally used as hair decorations and sacrificial offerings. Women would wear gold and silver foil cuttings in their hair for good luck. Men also used paper cuttings for good luck in sacred ceremonies. Gradually, paper started to be distributed to the masses and paper cutting became a folk art among the peasants as well as the elite. By the 14th century, paper cutting had been introduced to the outside world including Germany, Japan and Italy who now use paper cutting regularly for art. Paper cutting has been associated with good luck and is still used within festivals and given as gifts to represent this notion. Today, Chinese paper cutting is recognized as a part of traditional Chinese culture and is slowly returning to the centre of Chinese art. TECHNIQUE Chinese paper cutting is famous throughout the world for the skill, patience and persistence needed to create this detailed art. Artists create a continuous line in and around the paper. They then work inwards by creating a circle and cutting away from it forming the desired shape. Every design must be formed as an unbroken, continuous piece. Knife cutting allows more paper cuts to be produced at the one time. The pattern is either drawn on or carved by free hand. A knife is used to carve the motif into the paper to create a three-dimensional looking shape. Artists often carve their own tools from split bamboo and metal pieces. Common patterns used within paper cuttings are Chinese symbols associated with good luck, joy, hope

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.2

Paper Cut Art

and health. The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac are often used for decorations in the festive seasons. The shapes of gods are seen in paper cuttings during the Chinese New Year. HISTORY The first Chinese paper cutting was found in the 6th century in Xinjiang during the Northern and Southern Dynasty (420-589). Xinjiang is the Uygur Autonomous Region in the northwest of China. Traditional Paper cutting was seen as an extravagant custom and festive leisure activity as paper had only been invented by the Chinese in the 5th century. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), paper cutting was popular among royalty and nobles within the palaces. Women were often judged for their paper cutting skills and many brides had to master the skills before marriage. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), paper cutting became popular as a decoration for festivals and gifts. Red paper signifies good luck and was given to brides on their wedding day. Red paper cuttings were also hung from doorways, walls, mirrors and lanterns during the festive seasons to bring hope and good luck to all. Towards the end of the Qing Dynasty, paper cutting was on the decline due to new artists turning towards more popular crafts including embroidery and brocade. GEOGRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Jianping Paper Cuttings Fengning Paper Cuttings Yuxian Paper Cuttings

Yangzhou Paper Cuttings

Yulin Paper Cuttings Shaanxi Paper Cuttings

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

Yueqing Paper Knife Cuttings

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.3

Beijing Enamel and Cloisonne

DESCRIPTION One of China’s most treasured traditional art forms is Beijing’s cloisonné. Cloisonné and enamel art is often sought after by tourists and collectors from around the world. Enamel and Cloisonné metal art has adopted the skills and techniques of other famous traditional folk crafts including traditional painting, carving, encrusting, metallurgy and glass smelting. The traditional arts of cloisonné and enamel are used for many objects including vases, jars, bowls, plates, ash trays and many more practical objects. It is also highly valued as art and is a prominent feature in many museums and private art collections. Beijing Cloisonné and enamel art is ranked as one of the eight “consummate arts of Beijing” and regarded as the definitive artwork of the capital city. It is highly valued for its amazing designs and fine detailing which are complemented by bright and vivid colours. This traditional art form is one of the finest among the world’s metal arts. TECHNIQUE Enamel art involves applying enamel of different colours to a copper or bronze vessel. It is then fired in a kiln which vitrifies the enamel and forms a smooth, bright coating. Enamel is created from boric acid, vitreous powder and other chemical compounds. Metallic compounds are added to enamel which changes the colour after oxidation. Cloisonné is similar to enamel, however, the enamel pigments are separated by soldered wire. The methods involved in producing Beijing cloisonné art are elaborate and require graceful skills and patience. The metal vessel is usually constructed by hammering and stretching soldered pieces of copper into the required shape. A pattern is then pinned onto carbon paper and carefully traced on the surface of the vessel. The tiny Cloisonné compartments are made from copper wire that is bent with pliers to form the desired pattern. The copper wire is usually between 0.10 inches and 0.40 inches. The bottom edge of the cloisonné is dipped into glue and placed on the vessel with tweezers. They are then filled with enamel paste which feature coloured pigments grounded into a powder and mixed with alkaline, boric acid and saltpeter. Different colours are created from different minerals. Bronze is used to make blue, chromium produces green, iodine can be made into red and zinc can produce white pigments. Coloured pigments are added to each compartment by hand. The whole vessel is then fired in the kiln. The enamel must be applied each time after the vessel has been fired as the heat causes the cloisonné to shrink and need refilling. This step is repeated until the cloisonné covers the whole pattern. The surface of the vessel is then grounded smooth

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.3

Beijing Enamel and Cloisonne

on a motorized wheel with water and emery stones. It is then polished with whetstone and carbon. Gilding is the last step in the process and involves electroplating the remaining exposed copper with gold or silver to prevent oxidation from dulling the design. HISTORY It is believed that basic enameling techniques were first introduced to China by missionaries from Central Asia in the Yuan Dynasty. Both enamel and cloisonné became popular in the Ming Dynasty, especially during the Xuande period (1426-1436). During this time, Beijing cloisonné and enamel ware were made only for the use of the imperial family. The imperial palaces were heavily adorned with all sorts of cloisonné objects. During the Jingtai period (1450-1457) of the Ming Dynasty, Beijing cloisonné entered a new wave of creation with craftsmen focusing on the development of dark-blue enamel. This style of enamel ware flourished during this period and was named “blue of Jingtai” after the emperor who encouraged its production. The Cloisonné Art Museum in Beijing features many different pieces from cloisonné’s six hundred year old history. The Classic Works and Collection Show Centre also displays a wide range of cloisonné works including many which have won international awards and reproductions of pieces from the Yuan (12711368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasties kept in the imperial palace museum. GEOGRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Beijing Enamel and Cloisonne

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.4

Oil-paper Umbrella

DESCRIPTION Oil-paper umbrella is a type of paper umbrella that originated from China. It subsequently spread across Asia, to Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos. People in these countries have further developed the oil paper umbrella with different characteristics. As the Hakka moved to Taiwan, the oil-paper umbrella also began to develop in Taiwan. Other than the purpose of providing shade, oil-paper umbrellas are also traditional essential wedding items. In traditional Chinese weddings, the matron of honour would cover the bride with the oil-paper umbrella upon arrival in order to avoid evil spirits. Purple umbrellas are a symbol of longevity for the elders, while white umbrellas are used in funerals. In religious celebrations, oil-paper umbrellas are often seen on the sacred sedan chairs as cover, used to shelter people from rain and sunlight, also to drive the evil spirits away. Today, oil-paper umbrellas are mostly sold as works of art or souvenirs. TECHNIQUE The production process and required procedures are different in each region. However in general they can be divided into four main steps: first, bamboo is selected, then it is crafted and soaked in water and dried in the sun, drilled, threaded and assembled into a skeleton. Paper is cut and glued onto the skeleton. It is trimmed, oiled, and exposed to sunlight. Lastly, patterns are painted onto the umbrella. The art on the Chinese style of oil-paper umbrella are majorly focused on tradition black and white Chinese painting such as flowers, birds and scenery. There are others which include scenes from famous Chinese literature such as Dream of the Red Chamber and Romance of the West Chamber. Yet there are some that have Chinese calligraphy instead of paintings. However, traditional colors are kept on the sticks and the scaffold of the umbrella to maintain the antiquity. HISTORY The spread of oil-paper umbrellas was started by the wife of Luban, Yun’s invention. “Chop bamboo sticks to thin strips, covered in animal fur, closed to become a cane, opened as a cone.” But early umbrella

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.4

Oil-paper Umbrella

materials were mostly feathers or silks, later replaced by paper. The exact time in which oil paper umbrellas appeared is unknown. It is estimated that it spread across to Korea and Japan during the Tang dynasty. It was commonly called the “green oil paper umbrella” during the Song dynasty. The popularity grew and the oil paper umbrella became commonplace during the Ming dynasty. They are often mentioned in popular Chinese literature. GEOGRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Yuhang, Zhejiang Oil-paper Umbrella

Wuyuan, Jiangxi Oil-paper Umbrella Fujian Oil-paper Umbrella Tengchong, Yunnan Oil-paper Umbrella Luzhou, Sichuan Oil-paper Umbrella

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

Hankou, Hubei Oil-paper Umbrella Changsha, Hunan, Oil-paper Umbrella

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.5

Paper Kites

DESCRIPTION The Paper kite is treasured as a national Chinese icon and is loved by both the older and younger generation. They are predominantly cheerful in colour and bring joy to all who participate in the craft and activity. Weifang is the traditional birthplace of the Chinese kite with more than a five hundred year history in developing and producing the nationally cherished folk craft. Located in the middle of the Shandong Peninsula, Weifang boasts the most exquisite and talented styles and designs of kites not just in China but around the world. TECHNIQUE The delicate procedure of making a kite can be divided into three parts. Firstly, pare and flex bamboo into thin strips for the frame, making full use of the tenacity of the bamboo. According to taste, they can have shapes as diverse as that of a dragonfly, swallow, centipede or butterfly. Secondly, paste paper onto the framework. The paper is required to be tough and thin with even and long fibers. Some high quality ones are even covered with thin silk. Finally, decorate them with colorful chiffon, ribbons and paintings. In Weifang, kite is famous for its delicate materials, bright colours and detailed paintings. They are also aerodynamically shaped for smooth gliding and easy handling. The basic shape of most Weifang kites is made from split bamboo and silk cloth. There are six categories in which all Weifang kites can be grouped in. They are flat, soft winged, hard winged, bucket form, bunch form and free form, which gives a rich variaty to the basic technique. HISTORY The first kite was created in Weifang in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). Kites were initially used for military purposes. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), the Chinese used kites to transmit messages between camps. Kites quickly became popular as a novelty activity within the imperial palace and among nobles. Gradually, the kite was introduced to civilians and spread throughout China. “Feng Zheng” is the Chinese name for kite which is translated to wind zither. The name derives from the tradition of attaching whistles to the kites which create a melodic sound when blown by the wind. The sound

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.5

Paper Kites

produced was similar to the Chinese string Instrument, the zither. This famous style of the Weifang kite emerged in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). There are many legends and stories surrounding the origins of the Weifang kite. One such legend is that a carpenter known as Luban created a magpie kite with bamboo after being influenced by the gliding techniques of swooping birds. His kite was told to have flown for three days without falling. Another legend involves Weifang villagers tying string on the end of leaves. The villagers wanted to send the leaves higher and combined many leaves onto a bamboo frame attached to string. The leaves flew as high as a bird. GEOGRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Beijing Kites Tianjin Kites Weifang Kites Nantong Kites

Jiangnan Kites

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.6

Plaiting and Weaving Crafts

DESCRIPTION Plaiting and weaving has flourished from a primitive method of making household goods to becoming a praised art form. These folk arts have existed within China for over seven thousand years and have influenced many other Chinese handicrafts. The preservation of the skills involved in weaving and plaiting are of high value to the Chinese artistic community. New products are now being developed with an aesthetic and practical quality combined. Weaved baskets are currently used in many rural provinces instead of plastic bags as an environmentally friendly initiative. Weaved wallpaper, lampshades and carpets are once again starting to be seen in shops with new techniques and designs being developed. It is important for the skills of the older generation to be taught to the world so this perfected traditional folk art does not slip into only mass machine production. TECHNIQUE Weaving has many styles and techniques, which have been perfected over the centuries. Weaving creates a pattern by winding pieces of thread from one side to the other by needle or on a loom. Similar to weaving, plaiting involves doubling strips of material back upon itself and stitching it into the desired shape. The main materials used for weaving are bamboo, grass and straw. Each object must be stripped to thin pieces, usually resembling the width of a single hair. Throughout the different eras in Chinese history, the uses and materials of weaving changed to suit the needs of the communities. HISTORY Straw weaving can be traced back to the Hemudu culture in the Neolithic Period (10000-2000 BC). Hundreds of straw relics have been found from this era. Bamboo weaving was also created in the Neolithic Period and is thought to have originated from the Liangzhu culture. Straw weaving became a high demanding trade in the Qin (221-206 BC) and Han (206 BC-220 AD) Dynasties.

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.6

Plaiting and Weaving Crafts

As a product of agricultural civilization, famers mainly produced weaved products in their spare time. During the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) Dynasties, bamboo weaving became a popular leisure activity throughout mainland China. Many objects, such as furniture and baskets, were made from weaved material. Straw mats could be seen in nearly every household in China and are still popular today. They are known throughout the world for their durability and resistance to water. In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), bamboo weaving was often combined with other techniques and materials. The replication of famous paintings using weaved bamboo on roughcast was extremely popular among the wealthy. However, the authentic production and skills of weaving declined dramatically during this period.

GEOGRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Daming Straw Weaving Ningbo Grass Mats Shengzhou Bamboo Weaving Qingshen Bamboo Weaving

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

Dongyang Bomboo Weaving

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.7

Beijing Palace Lantern

DESCRIPTION The Beijing palace lantern is affectionately recognized as a national Chinese icon and is still commonly used as decorations in many homes around the world. The lanterns add a touch of antiquity and sentimental value to any room. The Beijing palace lantern has been used in national festivals and celebrations for many centuries and are popular decorations adding an oriental touch to any room or building. Figure lanterns are the most famous floral lanterns. The frame is made from bamboo strips or metal wires shaped into a human or animal figure. It is then covered with colourful tissue paper and a candle is inserted at the bottom of the lantern. They are a favourite among children. The Beijing six-sided palace lantern is among the most famous lanterns in China. It has six symmetrical sides and is divided into two parts. The main frame has six short columns that have a wooden dragon or phoenix head between each slat. Coloured tassles hang from the six pointed edges. The small frame features six longer columns and six rectangular painted surfaces connecting the columns. Today, the lanterns represent traditional Chinese culture more than anything else and are still commonly found in the streets during national celebrations. TECHNIQUE Quality palace lanterns from Beijing are highly regarded for their fine craftsmanship and joyous nature. Precious, rare wood such as rosewood and sandalwood are used for the skeleton of the lantern. Silk and painted glass is added to the frame for colourful decorations. The top and bottom openings are decorated by Ruyi images which are wish-granting patterns. The bottom opening can also be decorated with hanging golden tassels. Finely detailed brush paintings can be added to the lanterns for further decorations. HISTORY A famous palace lantern is called the “huadeng” or “floral lantern”. They are hung around households and villages on special occasions such as the Lantern Festival which is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. This folk tradition began during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) when the imperial court decreed lanterns should be hung across the country for three days to celebrate the festival. The number of days increased to six days during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and ten days in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In addition to lanterns, folk performances and fireworks were included in the festivities. Today, lanterns can still be seen all across China for the ten days of the Lantern Festival.

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.7

Beijing Palace Lantern

Beijing palace lanterns have enjoyed a long history throughout China. The name derives from the fact that they were originally only used in the imperial palace. During late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), Beijing palace lanterns we available for all to enjoy and could be seen throughout most villages especially at Chinese New Year. Coloured lanterns were once hung off doors to ward away evil spirits and bring luck to the household. The Chinese Lantern Museum was established in 1992 after being approved by the State Cultural Relics Administrative Bureau. It is shaped like a palace lantern and features the largest collection of Beijing palace lanterns in China. GEOGRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Beijing Palace Lantern

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.8

Artistic Fan Making

DESCRIPTION Suzhou fans have been a large part of China’s traditional culture and heritage for centuries and are still considered a national folk craft. Located in the Jiangsu province, Suzhou is one of the main centers for the production of Chinese fans along with Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. Fans can feature a number of images and patterns however lattice work patterns are mainly featured on the wooden handles and frames. Painted and engraved images on the silk and paper include landscapes, flowers and auspicious symbols. TECHNIQUE All varieties of handmade fans follow a similar procedure. Individual wooden leaves are shaped to create the basic frame of the fan. The lattice patterns are then carved into the frame using a traditional engraving tool. Wire is then used to create the desired pattern by rubbing away the wood. Decorations are singed onto the wood with an electrical tool similar to a soldering iron. Dark lines are created by pressing the tip directly on the wood while shading requires the artisan to slowly rub the side of the tool along the surface. For paper fans, rice paper is used as the surface and decorated with either calligraphy or paintings. There are many categories of fans made within Suzhou. Folding fans, silk palace fans and sandalwood fans are the most commonly known choices. Sandalwood is known for its inviting scent and an invigorating aroma is produced when the fan is waved. Folding fans feature two main designs. They can either be made out of many thin slats of wood held together by thread and wire or they can be made from delicate rice paper or cotton glued to a bow-like frame. The frame of the fan is usually made from precious scented woods such as sandalwood and rosewood. Artisans can tell the quality of the wood by its aroma. There are many types of folding fans including hand painted fans, single and double-sided embroidered fans and dyed fans. Sandal wood fans feature zigzag shaped steel thread which is placed from one end of a bow to the other. Scented sandalwood is used for both the frame and slats. The term “ironing flowers” is used to describe the images drawn on the wood with an iron pen. The drawings on the upper half of the material are called “drawing flowers”.

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.8

Artistic Fan Making

HISTORY Silk palace fans are highly regarded as the most exquisite form of fan making. Unlike most Suzhou fans, they do not fold and feature a long handle. They derive from the servant fans used to cool the emperor in the imperial palace. They were first produced for the imperial palace in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and at that time, they were made from bamboo slats and silk. Only noble women were allowed to use silk fans during this era as they were regarded as a symbol of wealth and class. They soon became a favourite accessory for scholars who would wave them to show their gracefulness as they sat in deep thought or composed poetry. Suzhou became the centre of production for fans during the Yuan (1271-1368) and Ming (1368-1644) Dynasties. The handle can be made from precious woods, bamboo, animal bones or ivory. The shape of the fan can be either round, hexagonal or rectangle. Suzhou fans were a common accessory of the imperial family during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Folding fans were often given to aristocrats and foreign guests as a representative treasure from Suzhou. It was also common for people to present fans to others with auspicious messages written or engraved on fans. GEOGRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Suzhou, Jiangsu Fans Hangzhou, Zhejiang Fans

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.9

Tibetan Mandalas

DESCRIPTION Tibetan mandalas have become one of the most well-known paintings from the Far East. These mandalas are intended to be aids in ceremonies, initiation rites, and meditation. They contain diverse symbols and depictions ot deities, though which, for instance, a monk seeking initiation gains the wisdom that leads to liberation. Around the shape of a circle as outer limit, the inside usually contains the image of a wreath of flames, and inside the circle, there is a square that it is divided into four triangles symbolizing the four cardinal directions. The center often contains a flower lotus with the depiction of a deity inside. Because these mandalas contain figures that are grouped around a central point, they have a symmetrical shape and therefore express harmony and balance. Inside a Tibetan mandala, every line, shape and color has a meaning: a blue thunderbolt symbolizes compassion, a peach stands for the sense of taste, and a flowing silk scarf represents touch. It is believed that tibetan mandalas have the ability of portray the cosmos in miniature, so they are sometimes called cosmograms. TECHNIQUE Following the symbols inward from the edge of the circle to its center, Buddhists find within the mandala the seed of inner enlightenment. It can take three years for a monk to memorize the different mandalas, learn about meaning of their symbols, and master the technical skill needed to create them. Up to eight feet in diameter or larger, a mandala can take several weeks to complete. Tibetan mandalas are used in Buddhist ceremonies and meditation. They may be painted on a wall or on silk; can be made out crushed flower petals or jewels, even sculpted out of yak butter. Also may be created with very fine, colored sand or powder sprinkled in a background. That last kind made out of sand, the technique is poured the sand, grain by grain the sand onto the design base using a pair of thin metal funnels called chakpus. Holding one sand-filled chakpu in position, the monk rasps its mate across the top, creating vibrations which can be adjusted to shake the sand out in a stream or a trickle. When finished, the mandala is ceremoniously swept up and deposited into a vase decoratedlike a deity. The ritual concludes with emptying the vase into the nearest body of flowing water, expressing a reflection of the fact that nothing in life is permanent.

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

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Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 1. Selected Chinese Traditional Craft & Arts 1.9

Tibetan Mandalas

HISTORY Mandala’s history is as ancient as the humankind itself. Circles, spirals, and other round objects have always spoken to our imagination. Our distants ancestor were aware that these shapes held special meaning. Prehistoric peoples drew the first spirals and circular depictions on rock faces and in caves. They depicted the Sun, the Moon, ans their orbits this way. After hundredsof centuries, what at first it was primitive and simple rites grew into religions, and these circular shapes were painted on floors or walls with colored sand, crushed died herbs and spices ro pastes made from various grains or finely ground roots. Even today, there are still a number of cultures in which these often complex geometrical constructions are used as religious symbols or in healing rituals. The word mandala stems from Sanskrit and means “holy circle“ or “magic ring“, “wheel“, “center“ or “that which is the essence.“ Thus it is, in fact, a word adpted from Asian traditions. Cult mandalas, as the one found in Tibet are always made in a particular style according traditional instructions, and they have a limited number of motifs. GEOGRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Tibetan Mandalas

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

作业1号 / Homework Nº 1 - Page 20


Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 2. List of Resources

BOOKS HUYSER, Anneke. (2007) “Mandala Workbook“. New Age Books. ISBN: 978-81-7822-287-5 ONLINE RESOURCES CECERI, Kathy. (2008). “Tibetan Sand Mandalas, Buddhist Message of Peace” (PDF) www.craftsforlearning.com/pdf/Tibetan%20Sand%20Mandala3.pdf (Accessed December 04, 2012). “Beijing Enamel and Cloisonne”. Chinese Traditional Folk Art and Crafts. http://www.chinacrafts.org/en/Chinese_handicrafts_category/HTML/10061.html (Accessed November 30, 2012). “Beijing Palace Lantern”. Chinese Traditional Folk Art and Crafts. http://www.chinacrafts.org/EN/Chinese_handicrafts_category/html/10140.html (Accessed December 03, 2012). “Chinese Kites”. Travel China Guide. http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/arts/kites.htm (Accessed December 01, 2012). “Chinese Lacquer Ware”. Chinese Traditional Folk Art and Crafts. http://www.chinacrafts.org/EN/Chinese_handicrafts_category/html/10010.html (Accessed November 30, 2012). “Chinese Paper Cut Art”. Chinese Traditional Folk Art and Crafts. http://www.chinacrafts.org/EN/Chinese_handicrafts_category/html/10021.html (Accessed November 30, 2012). “Oil-paper umbrella”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil-paper_umbrella#Sichuan (Accessed December 01, 2012). “Plaiting and Weaving Crafts”. Chinese Traditional Folk Art and Crafts. http://www.chinacrafts.org/EN/Chinese_handicrafts_category/html/10026.html (Accessed December 03, 2012). “Suzhou Artistic Fan Making”. Chinese Traditional Folk Art and Crafts. http://www.chinacrafts.org/EN/Chinese_handicrafts_category/html/10089.html (Accessed December 03, 2012).

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

作业1号 / Homework Nº 1 - Page 21


Brief Research on Chinese Folk Art 2. List of Resources

“The Making of a Mandala“. (2008) Vimeo. (VIDEO) http://vimeo.com/2103938 (Accessed December 05, 2012). “Weifang Kites”. Chinese Traditional Folk Art and Crafts. http://www.chinacrafts.org/EN/Chinese_handicrafts_category/html/10074.html (Accessed December 01, 2012).

民艺造型与现代设 / Folk Art within Modern Design

作业1号 / Homework Nº 1 - Page 22


USTB AD Folk Art within Modern Design 01