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Chinese Folk Art The Small Skills of Carving Insects

September 11, 2008 - September 11, 2008

Presented by ODLUM BROWN
Supported by Libra – The Rice People and The Market on Yates

Diao chong xiao ji meaning ‘the small skills of carving insects’ is a derogatory expression first given by old China’s aristocracy to the arts and crafts produced by the peasants.  The upper classes, who liked fine arts like calligraphy and painting, dismissed the work of the ordinary people.  However, the phase also came to be used by the commoner artists to describe their own work as a sign of humility.    

This exhibition will feature the many different ways Chinese folk art is expressed: embroidery, textiles, paper-cuts, masks, wood-carving, ceramics, and more. Each region of China and each of its different ethnic minority groups has its own particular way of expressing these art forms; however, there are many common characteristics: strong colours, solid images, auspicious themes, rich and genuine compositions, exaggerated expressions, and metaphors. Chinese folk art is an important part of the country’s extremely rich cultural and art heritage. Some folk artworks seem to be crudely made, yet still show great ingenuity, originality, simplicity and purity, which give us a <br>profound understanding of Chinese culture.


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