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Foreign Students in Contact with Chinese Folk Custom

Delicate lines, bright colors, and parable designs fascinated the teachers and students of Singapore International School as they watched the craftsmen’s demonstration of the famous Taohuawu Woodblock printing of New Year Pictures at Taohuawu Museum on Feb. 5. The students from various countries were enchanted by the new experience.

The last week before the winter vacation was announced to be "Spring Festival Week" at Singapore International School. Since students from Japan, Korea, and Singapore make up a considerable proportion of the student body and because they have a lot in common with Chinese culture, the school decided to give them a true experience of the Chinese folk custom, and the most typical traditional folk art, Taohuawu Woodblock Printing of New Year Pictures, was thus chosen for a field trip in the week.

Most of the students had never seen how New Year pictures were made, and they were keenly interested in the whole printing process. A picture was printed through a series of woodblocks, and "how do you fit these blocks of different colors so accurately to form a picture?" they invariably asked the same question. They thought this was simply incredible. Wang Zhude, an arts and crafts master told the students that the designing, the carving of woodblocks, and printing were all done by hand with the most meticulous care, and a small blunder will ruin the whole work. The students felt spellbound by the exquisite procedure, and some of them were given chance to try their hands in the process.

Feb. 7, 2007

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