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June 1, 2020

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High spirits at Bell Tower in Qibao

The festive spirit was high at the Bell Tower Square in Qibao ancient town over the weekend, with traditional paper-cut artists, dough figure sculptors, colored-ink calligraphers, old-school Chinese dessert chefs, and embroiderers teaching how to stitch a perfume sachet or a silk fan.

Kicking off the citywide Quality Life Week on Saturday to support sustainable growth through consumption amid novel coronavirus epidemic, the Handicraft Bazaar highlighting Shanghai’s intangible cultural heritages held in Qibao offered a combination of culture and art.

Young and old artisans set up booths on the square at the foot of the town’s landmark Bell Tower to showcase their skills developed over generations.

Sculptor Dai Yan conjured up a vivid Monkey King from dough in a minute.

“Children love my dough figures most,” Dai said as he kneaded the dough.

“The most popular are the 12 zodiac animals as well as some Japanese cartoon characters.”

Artist Tang Hua swiftly painted a colored-ink calligraphy of a visitor’s name with the patterns of dragons and a phoenix.

Dessert chef Tao Sumei painted a butterfly with heated liquid barley-sugar as kids and adults waiting.

“Children and adults like me love the sugar painting,” said visitor Yao Daxi, 58.

“It’s the sweetest memory of my childhood when candies were hard to find.”


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