Foreigners in Chengdu Have a Touch of ICH Items

Authors: Go Chengdu


A group of foreigners in Chengdu took part in a program sponsored by GoChengdu and got a better understanding of ICH items in Chengdu.
A group of foreigners in Chengdu took part in a program sponsored by GoChengdu and got a better understanding of ICH items in Chengdu.
Twelve foreigners from Sweden, Germany, the US and so on went to Dayi County in western Chengdu on May 23, about two weeks ahead of the 6th International Festival of Intangible Cultural Heritage (IFICH), which is to held on June 10-18 in Chengdu.
They enjoyed themselves in the sessions of tea art, sugar painting, paper cutting, Guqin (Chinese Zither) and so on, staged at "Happiness Commune" and hosted by local artists and craftsmen.
The 6th IFICH will put on display exhibitions, conferences, forums, competitive activities, as well as shows and folk performances will be held.
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Sugar Painting: Sweet, Sweet Art
Sugar painting (Tang-hua) is a traditional Chinese folk art using hot, liquid brown sugar, malt sugar or white sugar to make figures. Popular in Sichuan province, especially in Chengdu, it has a history of 400 years and the art of sugar painting has been liseted as an item of the national intangible cultural heritage.
All the twelve foreigner "painting learners" sat before a small table with all the instruments necessary for the creative work, under instructions of Mr. Zhang Hong, a sugar painting artist who gave explanations and demonstrations to the attentive learners.
Guqin: Swayed by Sounds from Seven Strings
Guqin has a history of more than 4, 000 years and was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003.
The foreigners got the instructions from Zhang Shihao, a Chinese Guqin master, on how to play the Guqin to produce the wonderful sounds that inspired generations of Chinese scholars.
They learned to how to play a song named 沧海一声笑 (literally means a laughter on the deep ocean) which, as Zhang explained, is a good choice for the beginners. The song was chosen as the theme song in the film Swordsman, an adaptation of the novel by famous Chinese writer Jin Yong.
Paper Cutting:All-inclusive Patterns
A traditional Chinese folk art, paper cutting (剪纸in Chinese) is very popular at home and abroad for its elaborate and varied patterns. Chinese people like to decorate windows and door with paper cutting works to add the festive atmosphere.
At first, Master Xu gave a brief introduction of the history of paper cutting in China and showed many amazing works to everyone. Then he began to teach the first pattern: Double Happiness (Shuangxi in Chinese), representing joyous moments, auspiciousness, enthusiasm and prosperity.
Under the patient guidance, everyone learned slowly and finally cut the simple patterns. Although their pieces couldn't be compared with the one made by masters, they cherished their works so much that they wrapped them up to bring home.
Tea Art: Foreigners Take Delight in Tea Art
The Tea Art master Li Tao made an amazing show of the tea art, pouring water into cups on the table with a long-neck kettle without spilling a single drop. Watching the wonderful performance, the foreigners all had an itch to try.
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