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A true reflection of Chinese essence at Global Village Lily B. Libo-on / 29 January 2014 Folk handicrafts the biggest draw at the China Pavilion in Global Village this year. For the first time ever, the China Pavilion in Global Village truly reflects the essence of China. With a facade of the famous Shaolin Monastery, reputed as the home of Shaolin Kung Fu, the pavilion represents the strength of the 6th century Chinese dynasties. Chinese guardian lions called Fu Lions, which guard Beijing’s Forbidden City, are stationed outside the pavilion as well. Chinese pavilion at Global Village. -KT photos by M. Sajjad For the first time, the China Pavilion comes alive with more than 500 massive Chinese red lanterns adorning the passageways leading to the 4,050sq metre enclosure. The passageways have been widened from the usual four metres to five metres with interlocks on the floor. “The entire pavilion is quite impressive. The ambiance resembles that of our own traditional Lantern Festival, which falls every 15th day of the first lunar month, usually celebrated in February,” Li Ming, a Chinese expatriate visiting the pavilion says. As visitors enter the pavilion, they are greeted by a striking replica of Pagoda Forest popular for its Chinese artistic design, inscriptions and carvings in the courtyard. It serves as the craft centre for live demonstrations of ancient folk handicrafts in Shanghai Yuyuan. Again, in a first, visitors can witness the creation of ordered items by skillful Chinese craftsmen. Anyone interested in Chinese calligraphy on rubber stamps can have an artist make it for him in five minutes. Other craftsmen can design names on a paper frame in dragon-phoenix calligraphy style. Dough figure sculpting, which is one of China’s oldest folk-art forms, is available as well. The innovative skills of kneading and modelling dough into vivid animal and human figures have been passed on for centuries since it first appeared during the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago. In 30 minutes, a visitor will have what he wants molded in dough figurine. A Saudi lady visitor, Jawaher, expressed her pleasure with the dough figurine showing her and her husband together. “I am so amazed with this craft; the dough really looks perfectly like me and my husband. I am so impressed,” Jawaher says. Ke Zhuing, the dough figurine artist, has been practicing the art since he was 12. “I am now 31-years old, and I still do it. This has been our business for generations.” Visitors can have their names or various designs inscribed on tiny pearls. Dubbed as micro-sculpture on pearl, visitors can have a pearl necklace pendant for Dh40. Liliang Shu, 32, says he has been practicing the art for more than 10 years. “I can engrave your name and design anything on your small pearl in five minutes.” An astounding feature at the pavilion is shadow-carving on stone, where photographs are replicated as they are on a piece of marble canvas using a sharpen-edged iron pen. The art takes a designer about one and a half hours. The artist, Qigui Lin, 27, says that his family has been practicing this folk handicraft for generations. Other folk handicrafts at the pavilion include stone seal cutting within five minutes for Dh50, art carving on bronze and shadow carving on stone for Dh480, and painting inside snuff bottles. Further inside the pavilion, visitors can haggle for deals from more than 157 exhibitors. Sunil Bhatia, the CEO of the pavilion, says the pavilion facade, which is 40m wide and 20m high, has two entrances, both guarded by lions. “We have specially imported six guardian lions from China. The two biggest and heaviest made of heavy stone totalling 18 tonnes (nine tonnes each) are guarding the main gate with a height of 3.10m and base size of 2m x 1.4m. For the back entrance, the gate lions weigh ten tonnes (five tonnes each) with a height of 2.4m and base size of 1.8m x 0.84m. The two small guardian lions are placed on the side gate, weighing one tonne with a height of 0.95m and base size of 0.6m x 0.5m. Lots of visitors are seen shooting their video and still cameras due to its originality and the mythic belief on these gate lions.” He says the products available at the pavilion encompass various categories that are either manufactured in China or are unique to the country. “We have home furnishing, fashion accessories, home decor, men’s and ladies’ wear, health care products, cleaning products, mobile accessories, plasma balls, and masks with lights for the first time. We look forward to offering our visitors an insight into Chinese tradition and culture and their contribution to the global market here at Global Village. Indigenous to its homegrown wealth and its cultural attributes, Chinese tea is a key ingredient in the country’s heritage. The only Chinese tea exhibitor in the pavilion has crossed miles to exhibit what’s really quintessential in China,” he says. China is the world’s largest producer of freshwater pearls, and the best collection of fresh water pearl jewellery set in silver from Sichuan is also at the China Pavilion for the first time. firstname.lastname@example.org For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Continue reading →
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