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China Culture & Art Class


Besides providing academic programs in China, a wide variety of unique Chinese culture and art programs can be offered by Education Abroad China too. The purpose of the classes is to provide international learning experience to students that cannot be taught on campus and let them be immersed in Chinese culture, history and folk art.


1.Peking Opera Mask

Peking Opera is a China’s national treasure with a history of more than 200 years. It is a synthesis of stylized action, singing, dialogue and mime, acrobatic fighting and dancing to represent a story or depict different characters and their feelings of gladness, anger, sorrow, happiness, surprise, fear and sadness. The types of facial make-ups in Peking opera are rich and various, depicting different characters and remarkable images, therefore they are highly appreciated. The purple color opera mask symbolizes candor and uprightness while the red color symbolizes faithfulness, loyalty and courage, black color symbolizes firmness and honesty, the blue color symbolizes valor, stubbornness and intractability; yellow color symbolizes brutality and insidiousness and white face symbolizes a knight who is crafty and cruel. The craft of making traditional opera masks is unique. A few strokes of the brush and every color turns a piece of plaster into a Peking opera mask.


2.Chinese Calligraphy

Chinese calligraphy is an art unique to Asian culture and as an abstract art for more than 4,000 years. Qin (a string musical instrument), Qi (a strategic board game), Shu (calligraphy) and Hua (painting) are the four basic skills and disciplines of the Chinese literati. Regarded as the most abstract and sublime form of art in Chinese culture, calligraphy is often thought to be most revealing of one’s personality. In addition to being an art form in its own right, calligraphy has also influenced ink and wash painting, which is accomplished using similar tools and techniques.


3.Chinese Cooking

China’s cuisine has evolved into one of the great cuisines of the world. For more than 5,000 years, food has played an auspicious role in nearly all aspects of Chinese society from health and medicine to business and celebration and it is no less important today. Emphasis on the freshness, flavor and texture of ingredients Is key to fine Chinese cooking. To get the most out of even simple ingredients, a variety of techniques is used to highlight and accent food qualities. Quick cooking with a wok and deep-frying are universal to most styles of cooking in China. You’ll also find other cooking methods such as steaming, roasting, barbecuing, stewing, poaching and braising used extensively. Chef-instructors will demonstrate different classic Sichuan dishes and then each person will make one of the dishes from start to finish. The class is taught in Chinese with English interpretation by our culinary tour guide. Small classes allow individual instruction and ample time for questions.


4.Kite Making

Kites were invented by the Chinese people over 2000 years ago. About in the 12th century, Chinese kite spread to the West and oriental and Western kite culture was formed after years of development. In this process, the traditional culture integrated with the kite craft and finally formed the kite culture with unique characteristics.

Through the centuries, kite making has grown into a sophisticated handicraft. Functionally, they come in four categories: toys, decorations, stunt and application kites. Toy kites are the most diverse variety, while decorative kites have a greater visual appeal than flying characteristics. The third category is known for its aerial stunts, such as diving, soaring and somersaults. Application kites are used for communication, surveying, taking photographs and spreading leaflets.

Making a kite includes three steps of binding, pasting and painting. Most Chinese kites are made with a bamboo frame and a silk or paper covering as well as completely hand-painted. An experienced crafter will show and teach you how to make a kite step by step.


5.Lantern Making

Lanterns, the traditional folk handicrafts, are still popular all over Beijing and other parts of the country. And the art of lanterns, as the precious traditional culture of Chinese, is also inherited and continues among folks. Lanterns play an important role in Chinese long history and symbolize the brilliant culture of China.


6.Chinese Painting

Starting around 4000 B.C traditional Chinese painting has developed continuously over a period of more than six thousand years. Its growth has inevitably reflected the changes of time and social conditions. In its early stage of development, Chinese painting was closely related to the other crafts, from pottery to the decorations used on the bronzes and carved jade. Chinese painting developed and was classified by themes into three genres: Figures, landscapes and bird-and-flowers.


7.Paper Cuttings

Paper cuts can be seen in many parts of China during the Spring Festival. People paste patterns on the window, door lintel or desks for the festival atmosphere. Paper cutting is a very distinctive visual art of Chinese handicrafts. The most popular use of paper cuttings were as “window flowers”. Long ago houses in northern China were constructed with windows of thin, semi-transparent paper. Red paper cutouts were pasted on the windows, as well as walls and ceilings to give a look of color and lightness. These cutouts were later used to decorate gifts, candy containers, table services and tea sets. In one of their most important uses, paper cuts served as patterns for embroidery. Today, as in the ancient times, paper-cuttings is a highly technical art form requiring creativity, skill and experience. No matter how simple or complex, every design must be formed as an unbroken, continuous piece.  Generally, there are two common methods for paper-cuttings, depending on whether they are cut with scissors or knives.




8.Chinese Kung Fu(Martial arts) 

Chinese Kung Fu,in Mandarin Wu Shu are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as "families" ,"sects"  or "schools"  of martial arts. Examples of such traits include physical exercises involving animal mimicry, or training methods inspired by Chinese philosophies, religions and legends. Styles that focus on qi manipulation are called internal ,while others that concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness are called external, Geographical association, as in northern fist  and southern fist, is another popular classification method.
Here we provide you two representative Internal&external Kung Fu style:
Shao Lin Kung Fu (External)
There is a saying that Shao Lin Kung Fu is the originate of chinese martial arts.Shao Llin Kong Fu was not created by a single man but by hundreds of top masters inherited from generation to all forms that have been created by monks or lay-man monks from the temple and all kung fu that came to the temple from outside is referred to as Shaolin kung fu
Tai Chi Quan (Internal)
More than 300 different known martial arts styles are practiced in China. There are two Chinese Martial Art systems, the internal and the external systems. The internal system includes Tai Chi, Sheng-I and Pa-Qua styles. The emphasize stability and have limited jumps and kicks. The external system includes Shao Lin, Long Fist, Southern Fist, and other styles. They emphasize linear movements, breathing combined with sound, strength, speed and hard power impact contact, jumps, and kicks.
There are many different styles or families of Tai Chi Chuan. The five which are practiced most commonly today are the Yang, Chen, Wu , Sun, and Woo styles. All Tai Chi styles, however, are derived from the original Chen family style.
Some people believe that Tai Chi was developed by a Taoist Priest from a temple in China's Wu Dong Mountains. It is said that he once observed a white crane preying on a snake, and mimiced their movements to create the unique Tai Chi martial art style.
Initially, Tai Chi was practiced as a fighting form, emphasizing strength, balance, flexibility, and speed. Through time it has evolved into a soft, slow, and gentle form of exercise which can be practiced by people of all ages. The certified Tai Chi master will teach you and instruct you to practice.



9.The Art of Seals

Despite its small size, the seal plays an extremely important role in the life of a Chinese. Name seals are engraved by hand. Through the technique of carving, name seals combine the beauty of written Chinese characters and line drawing. A name seal produces virtually the same image of the same characters or figures no matter how many times it is used, ans so can be considered a forerunner of one of the four great inventions of the Chinese – printing.

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