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Culture Express at Ancient Culture Street

 

 

It’s no secret, travelling in China for the national holiday can possibly be a drag, with approximately 60 million people travelling around the country, it’s no surprise that the others prefer staying at home instead.
If you’re one of those who decided to stay in Tianjin for the 8-day holiday, here’s one suggestion – visit Ancient Culture Street. Yes, it might be crowded at the time of your visit and the weather may be unfavourable, but if you forget all that and focus on experiencing the culture that Tianjin has to offer, then you’re sure to find something that’ll take your interest.
Here’s a preview of some interesting discoveries on Ancient Culture Street.


Dough Modelling
Master Dong Yeqi (钁d笟鍚) is a member of the Tianjin Institute of Oriental Art and a dough modelling instructor at Nankai University. It is in his stall at the Xi Lou area of Ancient Culture Street where Master Dong Yeqi expresses his artistic passion for moulding dough. Using wheat flour, glutinous rice, food colouring, paraffin, honey and steamed dough, the process includes pinching and rubbing dough then engraving different parts to form a figure to piece up a whole one. With the help of a small bamboo blade and stick, Master Dong can effortlessly mould attractive historical figures and the likes, a cute souvenir item and a perfect gift for tourists as it is small, portable and easy to conserve.



Gourd Pyrography
 The Chinese pronunciation of gourd (钁姦hu lu) is similar to the word “绂忕” (fu lu) which means luck and fortune. This is why many Chinese families decorate gourds in their houses, believing that doing so will bring them more luck and fortune. Gourd is a unique medium for pyrography and has been around for a long time, especially in China.
When it comes to gourd pyrography, Master Wu Yongfu (鍚存案绂) knows the tricks of the trade. His stall is crammed with gourd art, from the smallest to the largest. Cheapest gourd is CNY 10 while the giant ones can cost you around CNY 1300. Whether you’re buying one to give away or to decorate in your house; may luck and prosperity be yours!


 
Sugar Painting
It’s called sugar painting, the sweet art of forming a figure using sugar. Whatever you wish to have, a flower or any one of the 12 animals of the zodiac, Master Zhang Fuhai (寮犵娴) can sugar paint it for you. A member of China Folk Literature and Art Institute, Master Zhang sugar paints with ease and skill and can even do it in less than a minute. It’s not only the adults who admire the works of Master Zhang but  kids as well. Depending on what you choose, Master Zhang’s sweet treat sells from CNY 15 to CNY 30. Pick a figure and Master Zhang will sugar paint it for you, right there on the spot!

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