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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Chinese Culture  »  Chinese Handicrafts  »  Clay Figurine
Clay Figurine

Tianjin Clay Figurine Zhang
Clay Figurin Zhang (泥人张), the folk culture of Tianjin, is one of the well-known traditional handcrafts in China. It has been regarded as the treasure of Chinese culture. As a school of widespread folk painted sculpture in Northern China, clay figurin Zhang created by artist Zhang Mingshan in Tianjin is the first group of nation-class Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Artistic Characteristics
Clay Figurine Zhang collects a wide range of subjects, or reflecting folk custom, or absorbing folk stories and play, or directly drawing materials from classical literatures such as , , , etc. All these figurines are similar in both externality and internality. Clay figurine Zhang pays more attention to the use of materials, so the pinched figurine can still be lifelike after a long time without any arid and cracked. Clay figurine Zhang, about 40 centimeters high, is usually used as interior decorate.

Introduction of Background
Clay figurine Zhang was originally founded in the end of Qing Dynasty by Zhang Mingshan, who was born in a poor family in Tianjin. He lived on pinched figurine when he was a child following his father. Zhang Mingshan was smart, deft and imaginative and always observed people in all walks and pinched in wristband secretly. Zhang Mingshan absorb nourish from painting, opera and other arts and finally formed a style of his own.

As early as 1826, clay figurine Zhang won recognization from palace of Qing Dynasty, summoned to knead a variety of figurines of imperial style. In Panam World’s Fair, 16 pieces of Clay figurine Zhang took part in the collection and won the honorary award. Some nations collected or displayed Clay figurine Zhang as Chinese specificity. Clay figurine Zhang sell well around the world and highly praised by foreign friends. Many countries in Asia and Europe specially invited Clay figurine Zhang to demonstrate their skill and make exchange between the east and west. There is a Clay figurine Zhang thematic showroom in a China’s modern art museum in Ashiya. Clay figurine Zhang specialty shop in ancient culture street in Tianjin is deeply liked by people.

Huishan Clay figurine
Huishan Clay figurine is one of the traditional handcraft articles in Wuxi, Jiangsu, one of celebrated specialties in Wuxi. The local artists draw black clay as materials under the ground about one meter at the northeast foot of Huishan Mountain. This kind of black clay is fine and smooth with high ductility. There is no line after twined, no fractured after curveded and no crack after dry.

Huishan clay figurine is famous domestic and abroad for the bright color, smooth line and full shape. Its exquisite technique and perfect design condensates the wisdom of ancient laboring people. On 20th, May, 2006, Huishan clay figurine was authorized to list into the first group of National Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Huishan clay figurine has a history of more than 1,000 years, which originated in Northern and Southern Dynasties and became popular in Ming Dynasty. In Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it developed to peak stage. In Qing Dynasty, specialized manual workshop appeared. Over 200 manual workshops of clay figurine were set up along Wuli Changjie and up and down of pool, getting into a shape of “clay figurine street”.

Representative Works
Da A Fu is representative of Huishan clay figurine which is created by folk legend in Wuxi city. It is a figure of lovely deified boy with the reference of suppressing evil and bestowing good fortune. Legend states that long long ago, there is animal around Huishan to hurt children. A child named Shan Haier fought against the animal and got rid of an evil for the people. Afterwards, people created the brave boy with clay to honor him.Some clay figurine draws materials from wonderful scenes of Peking opera and Kun Opea. The characters are vivid and intriguing.

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