Inheritors of various intangible cultural heritage from around China have converged on the capital. They've brought not only their best handicrafts, but are also presenting live demonstrations for art lovers and those with curious hearts. Now, let’s take a closer look from the annual festival at the China Art Treasure Museum.
Veteran Peng Xiaoping has created millions of lives out of dough. He's been practising the traditional skill for over 40 years. Peng opened his own store to make dough figures back in early 1980s, and many people thought he had gone insane. Not long after, the enormous popularity of Peng’s little dough figures proved them wrong. Leading a team of 400 craftsmen, the elaborate dough sculptures have travelled around the world.
Peng Xiaopeng, Dough Figure Sculptor, said, "I’ve never related dough figure making to the word ’endanger’. As long as you concentrate on the art, buyers will come to you. I love creating figures out of dough. It all began when I was only 3 years old when I fell in love with playing with PlayDough. I spent about one year to find the recipe for the material through hundreds of experiments. It’s not hard to learn the skill, either. The key is making your work express itself."
Mr. Peng’s delicate dough figures have attracted many eyes, including this 21-year-old college student who wants to learn from the veteran.
Visitor said, "Like many local Beijing natives, I’ve loved dough figures since I was a boy. I’m glad Mr. Peng is willing to teach me. I’m not sure whether I’ll become a full-time maker of dough figures. It depends on more learning and experience. But I’m sure that making these tiny sculptures will help me calm down in such a hustling and fast-paced urban life."
And there are many kinds of time-consuming arts being demonstrated at the China Art Treasure Museum that might help calm down the nerves of today’s urbanites. Folk artists from around China are sharing the old secrets behind those amazing handicrafts passed down from their ancestors centuries ago. The exhibition runs free until next Friday in Beijing.