Zhouzhi Clay Sculpture

2017-12-19 16:08:28 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province


Yang Huizhi though taught by the same teacher as the Painting Sage Wu Daozi, is seldom known by people. However, Wu Daozi is very famous. This is just because that Wu Daozi’s paintings are kept in the royal court while clay sculpture of Yang Huizhi is kept in temples.

Because of Yang Huizhi, there were clay figures in temples. Wonderful clay sculptures represent people’s pursuit of good life and Yang Huizhi is honored Forefather of Clay Sculptures. Clay sculptures are presented in many forms. Zhouzhi Clay Sculptures, inherited from the Tang Dynasty, tailored to temples, have now become a unique clay sculpture kind with special characteristics.


Figures in temples are different from common sculptures. A complete Zhouzhi Clay Sculpture will be finished in 3-5 months or longer time considering figure sizes. This firstly tests patience of artists. Secondly, a qualified clay sculpture artist in Zhouzhi can not only mould, but also paint.


A successful statue has over 100 procedures during molding, of which each is inevitable. After taking the earth and tying the framework, an artist starts to stack the mixed mud layer by layer. After the mud is stacked to certain extent, he has to wait until the mud become dry completely and then continues to stack mud. Repeat this process till the statue has a rudiment. Next fabricate the shape and start careful revision after it is half-dry. After all molded parts have been finished, the artist now becomes a painter. With a brush in hand, he colors the statue. The whole process of molding a statue experiences working and pause and the artist comes to work, goes away and then comes back. He is both a farmer and an artist.


The last procedure is drawing eyes for the statue, noisily and solemnly. There is a complete set of ceremony inherited from ancestors. After the last action is completed, the temple will be filled with cheers and noises.


Zhouzhi Clay Sculpture inherited from the Tang Dynasty, has faced extinction for several times in history. However, the unknown artists have doggedly kept it till today. In accordance with the inherited ancient method, Zhouzhi Clay Sculpture has never resorted to any modern equipment or method because these molding artists clearly know that only depending on devout work can each statue be filled with vigor. This is what they are expected for and what they devote to people.

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