Mud-made stove painting
Mud-made stove painting is a type of folk art in rural Jiaxing that was listed as a State-level intangible cultural heritage item in 2011. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Mud-made stove painting is a type of folk art in rural Jiaxing that was listed as a State-level intangible cultural heritage item in 2011. As its name implies, it is a type of painting done on a mud-made stove.
Most of those engaged in the art form are bricklayers in rural areas where people often hire bricklayers to build a mud stove in their new house on an auspicious day and paint pictures on the stove.
Tools used to produce such art include grass brushes, brush pens, rulers, and paint. Experienced artists often mix some white wine into the paint to create a bright color and avoid dripping.
They first whitewash the mud-made stove with limewater, then outline the painting based on the shape of the mud-made stove, sketch the picture with black pigment, and finally add color.
Mud-made stove paintings are usually in the shape of a square or rectangle, which represent a dignified and upright personality. The paintings depicting animals, the God of Fortune, or a story usually appear on air bellow while flowers are placed at the feet and body of the stove.
The most famous mud-made stove painting is Pine Tree and Red-Crowned Crane, which represents a long life.
The inheritors of mud-made stove painting in Jiaxing are Shi Shunguan and Zhang Jinshou in Xiuzhou district, Zhao Xiangsong in Haiyan county, Yuan Sinan and Yao Yonglin in Haining county, and Shen Hualiang in Tongxiang county.
Shi Shunguan, aged 65, and Zhao Xiangsong, aged 62, have been named "representative" inheritors of the folk art by the Zhejiang provincial government.
However, the preservation of mud-made stove painting has proved difficult as residents in rural Jiaxing are replacing their mud-made stoves with gas stove.
In 2010, the Jiaxing Municipal Bureau of Culture established the Jiaxing Mud-Made Stove Painting Center in the downtown Moon River Historic District to better protect and promote the folk art.