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Fascinating Clay-figurines

Updated: 2014-12-02 11:02:18

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 Clay Figurine Zhang and Huishan clay figurines

Chinese folk artists use simple and cheap materials to make small and delicate handicrafts, won great favor among folk people. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, painted clay figurines were very popular. The most famous were the Clay Figurine Zhang ( Niren Zhang) made inTianjinand the Huishan clay figurines made in Wuxi,Jiangsu Province.

 Clay Figurine Zhang

Clay Figurines Zhang was a kind of school of art in northern China. It was initiated by Zhang Mingshan in the lateQing Dynasty. Zhang Mingshan was born in a poor family in Tianjin. He learned from his father how to make clay figurines at a very young age. Zhang was clever, deft and full of imagination. He carefully observed people at different places, such as market fairs, theaters and so on. Then he would secretly make clay figurines of those he met and hide them inside his sleeves.

His clay figurines were very vivid and expressive, and Zhang and his figurines were soon well known in the surrounding area. Zhang not only inherited the legacy of traditional skills but also incorporated skills from other art forms such as painting, opera singing and Chinese folk wood engravings. He created more than 10,000 clay figurines during his life, and his unique handicrafts became famous both at home and abroad. People liked his clay figurines very much and gave him the nickname of Clay Figurine Zhang.

Clay figurines created by Zhang include heroes and villains from Chinese folk stories, novels, and operas as well as scenes from life, which are full of appeal.

Jiang Menshen,a local despot, is one of Zhang's most representative clay figurines. It is only 11 cm high, with a head in the size of a broad bean .

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