Taking a rickshaw ride through Beijing's hutongs is no big deal now. Would you like to learn to make some traditional Chinese handiworks in such a historical area?
It is an opportunity of experiencing traditional Chinese art in person. Here China Highlights would like to introduce you two more discoveries in the hutongs: visiting a traditional quadrangle dwelling and DIY activities of braiding traditional Chinese knots, making dough figurines, painting facial makeup, and drawing traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy.
1. Exploring hutongs (about 1 hour)
Our guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel at 9am and transfer you to the most beautiful hutong area. You can explore the hutong both by walking and rickshaw. These hutongs, together with the quadrangle dwellings will show you Beijing's unique residential culture and architectural features in the past centuries.
2. Visiting a local family with a traditional quadrangle dwelling
You can walk into the well-kept quadrangle dwelling and learn about the layout, the uniqueness, and the knowledge of planting trees inside the courtyard.
3. DIY traditional Chinese handiworks
Each class of the DIY activities will last about 1 hour. You add them into your itinerary according to your interesting.
Braiding Chinese knot
Made of a rope or a string, it is a decorative handicraft symbolizing good fortune and harmony. Can you imagine that the complicated Chinese knot shown on the right is made of two entire red ropes without cutting it?
These elegant knots were widely used for clothes in the past, and you still can find them in a qipao or a Tang suite. There are 12 basic ways of making a Chinese knot. What you will learn in this lesson covers about 3 ways.
Making dough figurine
The cute and vivid figurine is made of colorful dough, like plasticene. Preservative is used in the dough. So if you keep your dough figurine dry, it can be well preserved for several years.
The colorful dough can be made into very exquisite figurines. In this class, you can learn to make some simple figurines, like flowers or cartoon figures.
The paper-cuts are mostly made of red pepper, with the images of totems symbolizing good wishes in traditional Chinese culture. It can also be a way of artistic creation with extensive themes, like paintings.
You can learn some basic paper-cutting skills in the class. Cutting some flowers for window decoration, snowflake, or Chinese characters (like 囍, symbolism of wedding) can be included.
Painting facial makeup
Facial makeup is the makeup used in many traditional Chinese operas, especially Beijing opera. You can see that different facial makeups have different colors and pattern.
During the class, you can paint a facial makeup on a whiter mask, and can learn some knowledge of the meaning of different facial makeups.
Drawing traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy (2 hours)
Traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy artworks are created with Chinese writing bushes.
In this class, you can get a general knowledge of the differences between traditional Chinese realistic painting and traditional freehand brush painting, and the differences between regular scrip and cursive script.
You can draw your work of traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy under the teacher's guidance.