China's delicate art of fan-making

2022-08-05 Editor : Ji Xiang ECNS App Download
Special: Decoding the Culture Genes of China

(ECNS) -- A fan is a tool to cool off in summer, as well as an elegant artistic item loved by Chinese literati.

Chinese fan-making integrates carving, painting, calligraphy, weaving, mounting and framing, and is a precious national art form.

For thousands of years, skilled craftsmen have incorporated local wisdom into the complex and delicate art of fan-making.

Wood, bamboo, or bone are used for fan frames. Feathers, silk yarn, bamboo strips, cotton or rice paper are used for the surface.

The artifact is designed into oval, oblate, and other shapes such as sunflowers and plum blossoms. It is matched with knot, tassel, jade or other pendants. The mix and match creates an assortment of beautiful and exquisite fans.

Chinese literati used fans as a fashion accessory. The folding fan opens easily, and suits the intellectual among poetry and books. The feather fan provides gentle wind and an air of lightness and calm. The silk palace fan is delicate and elegant, with ingenious calligraphy, painting and embroidery. The black paper fan is simple and graceful, and durable like an umbrella. The exquisite sandalwood fan emits a lovely fragrance when opened. The bamboo stripe silk fan presents vivid patterns of flowers, birds and figures.

A small fan, both useful and artistic, condenses ancient and modern crafts, and depicts Chinese landscapes, figures and history. It is the epitome of China's ancient and profound artistic quality.


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