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Five Types of Chinese Folk Arts for Five Kinds of Fun

updated: 2010-04-08

Looking past the family gatherings and meals that come with Spring Festival, you can find many people also taking the time for concentrated reflection on traditional Chinese culture. The Regent Chinese Folk Art Exhibition in Beijing is a chance to see five traditional Chinese folk art masters showcasing their individual skills through February 10, at the Regent, Beijing.

Five-hundred pieces of art work by the following masters will be on display: paper cut master Gao Dianliang; master of painting snuff bottles Xie Shanshan; dough figurine master Wang Yuzhu; Chinese knot master Mi Lingzhu and Yu Guangjun, master of the maohou. Literally translated as "hairy monkey," this art consists of cicada shells dressed in fuzzy magnolia buds and posed in classic scenes of the daily lives of old Beijingers, such as playing cards on the street, reading newspapers and cricket fighting.

Unlike previous exhibitions, visitors can both appreciate the art and chat with the masters as they craft their specialties on site. Gao's representative "five blessings" consists of five tigers in different postures to bring good luck for the coming year. His works also include a red-faced, big-mouthed girl wearing a flowery dress with 12 constellations (10 yuan each).

Xie uses a thin brush inserted into the mouth of a snuff bottle to paint delicate Chinese and Western paintings on the inside of the bottle's glass. He can do one bottle in two to three days, and sells them for around 200 to 300 yuan, though the most expensive is 8,000 yuan.

Silent Wang puts his words into the dough he uses to sculpt delicate figurines. It takes him half a day to finish one sculpture but larger projects, like the set "Drunk Li Bai," a Tang Dynasty poet who liked to play pranks on senior officials, involved dozens of characters and took him a month to create. Mi, on the other hand, is more outgoing, chatting with visitors while showing them how to tie traditional knots.

"On the occasion of Chinese Spring Festival, by hosting this Chinese Folk Art Exhibition, we'd like to celebrate Chinese New Year with our guests in a very special and memorable way," said Mr. Diderik Van Regemorter, the managing director of the Regent Beijing who initiated this exhibition. "The guests are also offered an opportunity to understand Chinese culture, and this will definitely enrich their travel experience and make their travel meaningful and memorable."

Time: 11 am – 8 pm, until February 10

Address: The Mezzanine, 2/F, Regent Beijing, No.99 Jinbao Jie, Dongcheng District,Beijing (北京东城区金宝街99号丽晶酒店2层夹层)

Tel: 8522-1888 Ext 5242

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