There is no easy way to say ‘捏面 nie mian’ in English! It literally means ‘pinch flour’ but in fact this folk-craft, which dates back to the Han dynasty, involves a lot more than just pinching!
The ‘clay’, actually dough, was traditionally made of glutinous rice and colourings made from different foods. The final product, beautiful though it was, could be eaten. Today, certain additives such as honey and paraffin might be added to improve the longevity of the final product, and they definitely can’t be eaten!
Calligraphy （书法 Shūfǎ） is now considered an art form, but perhaps you didn’t know that traditionally it was much more – a way to cultivate personal character. It was considered essential for any cultured person to be skilled in calligraphy, as well as the related skill, painting. Find out more about calligraphy in our introduction to Chinese calligraphy (link).
Who could possibly be so famous that a reproduction of their work would sell for $48 million? The greatest Chinese calligrapher, Wang Xizhi!
We have have lots of amazing cultural events on this summer! From our popular monthly calligraphy workshop, to a walk & talk at the Guozijian Hutongs, there’s definitely something for everyone!