China has a very
rich heritage of arts and crafts dating back to the
days of the early Chinese civilization of the Xia and
Shang dynasties. Some of the prominent traditional crafts
of China are: Paper-cut, Shadow Show, Silk Figurines,
Embroidery, Chinese Painting, Lacquer Ware, antique
furniture, woodcarving, Yixing Zisha Teapots and ceramic
ware. Chinese painting is an important part of Chinese
Culture. Chinese paintings have a long history. The
art of painting originated in the late Zhou Dynasty,
and developed in the Han Dynasty.
of China's most popular folk arts is paper-cut. Its
origin should be closely connected with the invention
of paper during the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-221 A.D.).
Paper-cut is used for religious purposes, for decoration
and as patterns. Now paper-cut are chiefly used as decoration.
The Chinese ornament walls, windows, doors, columns,
mirrors, lamps and lanterns in homes with paper-cuts.
They are also used for decoration on presents or are
given as presents of themselves.
silk figurines is a Chinese traditional handicraft.
It was originated from the Northern Song Dynasty of
China with a long history of more than 1,000 years.
Beijing silk figurines draw their inspiration from the
characters of folk stories loved by common people in
China; such as ancient beauties, dramatic figurines
and modern dancers, etc.
has a long standing history. High quality cloth and
silk are used for the purpose. The art of embroidery
was patronized by the various dynasties ruling China.
Variuos traditional and contemporary designs are used
in embroidering motifs and cloths of very high quality.
China's four famous styles of embroidery are those of
Suzhou, Hunan, Guangdon and Sichuan.
Lacquer ware is another very important craft in China.
China lacquer ware includes 3000 varieties of craft
items like screens, cabinets, tables, stands, boxes
and plates made with traditional techniques of inlaying,
painting, etching, cover-coating, wrapping with jades
and stones and breaking veins.
has a long history in woodcarving. Picturesque in contours,
concise in intended meanings, exquisite in chiseling
skills, Based on customs and myths, its themes in general
are classified into the following four categories: auspicious
designs, figures for enjoyment purpose, local people's
life style, fowls and beasts, plants, vegetables and
fruits that people are familiar with.
is the home of chinaware, porcelain being produced in
both the south and north. The long-lost techniques of
the celebrated ancient porcelain kilns such as Longquan,
Jun, Ru, Guan, Cizhou and Yaozhou have now been recovered,
"like old trees putting forth new blossoms"
as the saying goes. The purplish brown sandy potteries
of Yixing, the noted pottery center in Jiangsu Province,
are much sought after for their classic elegance and
Japan: The crafts of Japan can be categorized
into the following categories: weaving, dyeing, braids,
embroidery, pottery and porcelain, lacquer, wood, bamboo,
metal, buddhist altars and accessories, paper, stationary,
stone, dolls, crafts materials.
textiles are a part of everyday life in Japan. In no
uncertain terms, Japan is a textile country. There are
four main fibers used in Japanese textiles: hemp, ramie,
cotton, and silk. Ikat (Japanese: kasuri) techniques
today are more popular than figured twills and satins.
Two dyeing methods were used in Japan: immersion dyeing
and painting. The former involves dipping a textile
in a dye, and the latter is brushing on color. Both
may be taken to heights of complexity, with multiple
dippings of given areas in numerous colors, and a textile
used as a surface for the painting of an artist's dream.
The designs are entirely freehand, and the technical
flexibility and freedom of expression are limited only
by the craftsperson's own creativity. Indigo folk textiles
such as quilt covers, hangings, and split curtains (noren),
display complex, polychrome designs of felicitous motifs
made with this technique. Japanese textile-dyeing stencils
themselves are works of art and are collected.
linked with the spread of Buddhism in the area, embroidery
was introduced to the province of Kaga from Kyoto in
the Muromachi period (1392-1573) and was used for the
decoration of such religious trappings as altar cloths
and surplice worn by monks. During the Edo period (1600-1868),
embroidery came to be used to decorate many personal
items and such things as an over garment called a jinbaori,
which was worn by military leaders when they went into
battle. The kimono worn by noble ladies, too, were also
sometimes embroidered, the dignified elegance of such
garments pleasing them greatly.
Though Japan has one of the world's earliest dated and
longest continuous pottery cultures (the Jomon culture;
lasting from roughly 10,000 b.c. to about 300 b.c.),
there is no known direct continuity with today's traditional
Japanese pottery. Today, most Japanese pottery--besides
porcelain, a small amount of earthenware, and Raku--is
Lacquer (urushi) has been an integral part of the Japanese
lifestyle; it is taken for granted as part of life and
treasured for its many qualities. It has been used as
a protective and decorative coating material for at
least six thousand years in Japan. Lacquer-coated earthenware
pots and wooden combs have been found in Japanese Neolithic
sites carbon dated to about 4500 B.C. Urushi has been
used to coat such things as temple and shrine interiors;
furniture and chests; sliding doors; walls and architectural
interior trim; eating vessels of every type; casks,
ewers, and bottles; personal accessories; chopsticks,
lamp stands, paper products, and so on.
Japanese joinery shares with its Chinese and Korean
counterparts a delight in perfection. In architecture,
structures were made by mortise and tenon, without use
of pegs or nails. Architectural joinery is highly developed
and has come up with various interesting developments,
including ways to increase the length of a beam without
sacrificing strength. The complex, puzzle-like joints
of temples and pagodas never cease to fascinate and
bewilder. Such joinery is why the "shrine carpenter"
(miya daiku) is a profession separate from conventional
Bamboo is most often used in Japan to make objects like
madake and moso-chiku. Some types of bamboo grass (sasa),
though botanically different from bamboo, are also used
for basketry. Some other uses of bamboo in Japan are:
fishing poles, particularly the telescoping kind; archery
bows; musical instruments, such as shakuhachi and flute;
chopsticks; tea whisks; a wide range of utensils for
the tea ceremony, from tea measures to water ladles
to wall vases for flowers; all kinds of boxes and vessels
and containers made of the whole bamboo stalk (not woven);
furniture, particularly stands and stools and benches;
barrel hoops (twisted bamboo fibers); pipes (a long
stalk split in half with nodes removed), and many more.
Both metal forging and casting seem to have appeared
as mature techniques in Japan. Japanese hand-forged
carbon steel was and is among the finest produced by
any people. Japan led the world in steel technology
for perhaps a millennium, and today's hand-forged Japanese
kitchen knives are justly famous, as are carpenter's
and sculptor's chisels and hand-forged scissors for
household and garden use.
There is evidence that stone craft accompanied Buddhism
from Korea in the middle 6th century, and it is likely,
though not documented, that stonework in the Izumo area
dates from this early time. Stonework in Kyoto probably
started in the late 8th century, mainly as foundations
for temples and palaces, stone lanterns for temples,
religious images, pagodas, and the like.
Kong : Hong
Kong has a wide variety of arts and crafts with exquisite
workmanship. They can be classified into special folk
types. Special arts and crafts, such as ivory carving,
jade carving and Shousan stone carving use precious
or special materials, and undergo elaborate designing
and processing. They are elegant and expensive.
In technique, Hong Kong folk arts fall into the categories
of cutting, bundling, plaiting, knitting, embroidering,
carving, molding and painting. Cutting includes paper
cuts, paper engravings, paper cut silhouettes, paper
folding, paper sculpture, and leather-silhouettes, all
of which evolved from paper cuts. Bundling includes
kites and colored lanterns bundled up with paper, silk
or bamboo. Plaiting, a popular folk art, includes various
straw or thread plaited articles. The products include
cloth tigers, cool pillows, cushions, tiny fragrant
bags, colored silk balls, shoe-pads, and velvet flowers
and birds. Knitting, including wax printing, bandhnu,
color printing, drawn work and flower knitting, is created
by weaving, knitting or stitching. Embroidering includes
picture weaving in silk, printing and dyeing.
Carving includes art depictions of various shapes, such
as masks, puppet heads, figures, animals and flowers,
which are created with bamboo, wood, jade or horn. Molding
includes dough modeling, clay sculpture, frozen butter
sculpture and pottery sculpture. The products serve
not only as ornaments, but also as children's toys.
Painting involves such techniques as hand painting,
incision, patchwork, and pyrograph, each having a style
of its own.
Mongolian nomads' homes, clothes, weapons ,
and way of life are impossible to imagine without Mongolia's
unique crafts, patterns, and embroidery. A special aesthetic
has developed from the common things used in the everyday
life of nomads over thousands of years.
beginning of the decorative arts in Mongolia dates back
to pre-Bronze Age, with cave paintings. These can be
found throughout Mongolia, but the highest concentration
of cave paintings are in the mountains of western Mongolia,
in the provinces of Hovd and Bayan Olgii.
Bronze Age saw the development of molten metal and zooform
art. The Mongolian people also decorated various cloth
with embroidery, developed applique, and stitched felt
art. Hunnu goldsmithing technology developed rapidly,
and since that time, coin design has been paid special
attention by the people of this area. The Hunnu also
developed pottery techniques, such as creating vases
by hand or by a turning method with a lock up mechanism.
The Syanbi people made fur clothes and traveling bags
with perforated embroideries, and their women wore tall
headgear. Uhuani peoples' leaders were also their expert
artisans: they were able to make bows and arrows, weapons,
embroidery, woven items, and processed leather. During
the Tureg Age, people created silver plates, golden
jugs with floral motifs, and linear animal figures.
Uighur people were an influential group who lived in
the 8th century. They made gold earrings, horses' bits
for the first time decorated by continuous ornament,
and vases with wave motifs. People of the Khyatan state
capably developed all kinds of craft and embroidery
art because they viewed art and culture to be as important
as politics and government. Many stone masons lived
in this century. Also during this time, a process of
firing pottery in green, yellow, and black porcelain
and enamel was developed.
19th and 20th centuries saw an energetic period of development
of craft and decoration. Mongolianpaintings, sculpture,
embroidery, felt art, leather art, bookmaking, Buddhist
prints, and bone, wood, and fossil amber craft work
developed powerfully in this time.
and South Korea: One
of the best ways to understand ancient Korean civilization
is to examine the tools and crafts that have been discovered
in archeological digs around the peninsula A large number
of relics from the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze
ages have been recovered. These artifacts provide scholars
with valuable insights into life in ancient Korea and
crafts from later periods reflect everyday life and
metalcraft culture dates back to the Bronze Age in the
6th or 5th centuries B.C. A wide variety of bronze relics
have been recovered around the country Of note are the
Liaoning-type bronze swords first made in China in the
7th or 8th century B.C. and introduced to Korea in the
fifth or sixth century. Animal-shaped bronze buckles
showing a strong influence from the bronze culture of
northern Eurasia have been discovered in North Kyongsang
Province. Metalcraft reached a new level of sophistication
during the Three Kingdoms period (1st century B.C-7th
century A.D.) as evidenced by the relics recovered from
tombs dating to that period.
of the extant metalware of any importance comes from
Silla tombs. Silla artisans created many art objects
of great delicacy and elegance. The gold crowns discovered
in Silla tombs represent the finest in Silla metalcraft.
Metalcraft flourished with the introduction of Buddhism
to Korea in 372 A.D. as ritual implements, such a temple
bell gongs, incense burners, water sprinklers, sarira
tombs have produced a number of beautiful examples of
glass and curved jade pieces. Glass, jade,agate, crystal,
and pure gold were made into curved ornaments to be
hung on gold crown pendants and necklaces.
Korean furniture is unique for its simple, sensitive
designs, compact forms, all emanating from the Korean
custom of sitting and sleeping on the floor. Choson
woodcraftsmen were famous for their attention to detail
and the blending of practicality and beauty. The use
of glue and nails was avoided whenever possible by fitting
carefully cut parts together. White bronze, bronze,
copper, and iron were most frequently used for hinges,
padlocks and decorations. Iron ornaments blackened with
perilla oil and soot were favored for their simplicity
Lacquerware inlaid with mother-of-pearl dates back to
the Silla period, and Chinese accounts refer to a highly
developed lacquerware culture during the Koryo period.
Tin or bronze wire was used to depict the ines, and
sometimes pieces of thinly sliced turtle shell, tinted
yellow or red, were used for variety.
Chinese art began a long time ago, in China's far off
history. Even before the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD), the
"golden age" of human figure drawing existed
with line drawings of people in various actions. By
the mid-Tang Dynasty, paintings featuring landscapes,
flowers, and birds took flight. Mountains, forests,
fields, and gardens became the focus of artists as landscapes
had the capacity to divert one away from the exasperation
of the material world into a peaceful realm.
Rulers of ancient China supported the art of painting.
Some established art academies while others were merely
lovers of art. Chinese artists prefer to paint to their
own liking and without limitation. Free expression is
their key motto. Their fondness for natural subject
matters allows them to better utilize the brush and
ink's latent talent. Realism does not play an important
role in Chinese paintings. The effects of shadows and
light are not the main focus in a painting. However,
the basic component of Chinese art is the line, as it
is in Calligraphy.
Taiwan's folk arts are part of its traditional culture.
Many of the crafts were evolved to celebrate the agricultural
season festivals. The different forms of Taiwan’s
folk arts are: dough sculpture, fine arts, kite flying,
Taiwanese opera and umbrella making.
diverse folk arts are part of its traditional culture.
Many of the crafts were evolved to celebrate the agricultural
season, festivals, and major days in people's lives,
such as birthdays, marriages and deaths. Paper cutting
is one of the oldest folk arts. Red paper cutouts are
pasted onto walls and windows to give homes a festive
look. Knotting, or macramé, is used to make jewelry
or wall hangings.
traditional craft of the Hakka people is the making
of oilpaper umbrellas. The Hakkas in the town of Meinung
in southern Taiwan feature a dazzling display of lion
and dragon dances, the origins of which can be traced
back to ancient China.