Wei´s kites are famous for their portability, but are also praised for their colorful designs and realistic portrayal of their subjects. The kites were developed by Wei Yuantai, and only the best silks and satins are used for the tail, only the most flexible bamboo for the frame. Available for purchase at Ancient Culture Street.
Knickknackery reigns supreme in Tianjin, a city renowned for its fine clay figurines. This reputation is spearheaded by the celebrated sculptors of the Zhang family, who took figurine-making and turned it into an art form. Zhang Mingshan, who learned the trade at a young age from his father, is largely responsible for this reputation. The original Zhang´s Clay Figurine Shop is still standing (and selling) today. Most of the figurines depict famous Chinese historical figures, but there is the occasional modern-day celebrity among the miniature multitudes.
When Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) rolls around, messages of well-wishing appear around and over every doorway in the country. Yangliuqing is a small township located in the western suburbs of Tianjin, and began manufacturing New Year Posters in the early 1700´s. The posters are praised for their fine craftsmanship, the skill used in the calligraphic lettering, and the meaningful symbolism hidden in the artwork.