Traditional Art Style: Ink Wash Painting

Ink wash painting(水墨畫) is a traditional art style dating back to historical China. This type of painting often uses ink and water to present scenes (Shan Sui Hua山水畫), animals, and people. Traditionally, paintings are usually black and white with variations of grey colors. Ink wash painting has been practiced throughout history, and it is still prestige status. It is an art form that emphasizes “feeling the art”. It can be very abstract and it is not easy to appreciate the beauty of it.


• In the past, painters would grind their own ink with inksticks on inkstones
• Inkstones are hard to get; bottled ink is more widely available in modern days
• Colors are sometimes added to make paintings more colorful


• Bigger brushes can paint larger areas and smaller brushes are used to paint details
• Brushes are made from animal hair and vary in stiffness: Weasel hair (hard) and goat hair (soft) are used in brushes
• Hair from rats, rabbits, deer, horse, and etc can also be used


• In calligraphy and paintings, the paper used is Xuan or Shuan Paper(宣紙)
• In the past, this paper was used for fans and would have ink wash paintings, calligraphy writings, or both on it
• A cheaper and more common paper used for both calligraphy and ink wash painting is Mian paper(棉紙)


Dough Fish

In China people make animals and other sculpture out of coloured dough. The Chinese Dough Sculpture Art is originated from traditional folk handicraft in ancient China about 1300 years ago. It is used in cooking originally because Chinese people love fancy design. The variety shapes can be created with different symbols to a family even an individual.

For the process

1. Preparing the ingredients and tools  (Flour, Sweet Flour, Salt, Tempera Paint, Sculpture tools). Mix flour, sweet flour, small scoop of salt and small amount of preservative (or you can even skip this) with boiled water. Roll the dough by your hands until it’s smooth. Set the dough for 2 hours then roll it again until it is smooth.

2. Put it in the plastic wrap and steam for around 40 minutes.

3. Knead the dough after it is cooling down for about 40 minutes until it has become smooth and elastic.

4. Adding colours for your need then mix them well. You will be ready for the sculptures.

5. Use your idea to create a sculpture


Chinese Knots

Here we will show you how to make Chinese Knots. Chinese knots is one of traditional handcraft products. It is one of the symbols of major characteristic industries of the Chinese nation. Chinese knots are kind of characteristic folk decoration in handcraft art. They are also a distinctive feature of traditional Chinese apparel.

Knot is pronounced as ‘Jie’ in Chinese, similar to ‘ji’, which means blessing, good salary, longevity, happiness, fortune, safety and health. It is the everlasting pursuit of Chinese people, so some Chinese knots express people’s various hopes.

The history of Chinese knots takes us back to the prehistoric era. The earliest record of using knotting can be found at the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. People used ropes as a primitive form of belt with knots for more than just fastening, wrapping, hunting and fishing. Knots were also used to record events, and some had purely ornamental functions.


Paper Cutting

Here we will show you how to make a Chinese character by cutting it out of paper.

Paper cutting is also one of the traditional handcraft art in China. It is formed from six hundred CE in Tang dynasty in China. When the paper became more affordable in the past, it became a popular art form. It can create different pictures, such as character, animals, and patterns. The paper cutting usually uses to decorate the home and other structures. It also usually uses to the Chinese wedding and spring festival as the decoration too.

Process to cut a Chinese character of “Chun”;

First, fold the square paper in half.

Second, draw a half character of “Chun”.

Third, start to cut along with the lines.

Final, open the paper and finish.