Schools honored for promoting folk art

Songjiang's two schools have been honored for their efforts to promote folk arts to young people.
Schools honored for promoting folk art
Cai Bin / Ti Gong

Zhao Qiang, an art teacher from Sijing No.2 Primary School, coaches the students on dough modeling. 

Songjiang’s two schools have been honored for their efforts to promote folk arts to young people.

Sijing No. 2 Primary School in Sijing Town features a course of dough modeling, a folk art originating from northern China that depends on the hands of an artist and a bamboo knife to mold and shape a dough figurine.

The art has been popular at the school for two decades. Almost every student can do dough modeling.

Zhang Tian, a fourth-grader, created a set of dough figurines portraying the gold medal winning Chinese women volleyball players at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“Children at rural elementary schools should also experience a lot, so that they can cultivate their interests and hobbies, improve themselves step by step and gain confidence,” said art teacher Zhao Qiang, who introduced the traditional art in 1998 and adapted it into something that children can learn easily.

So far the school has compiled five books on dough modeling and one portfolio of outstanding work.

It has won many awards citywide and performed the art for students and teachers at Toyo High School, Shizuoka, Japan in 2006.

Another school on the honor list is Xiaokunshan School, which earned a reputation for paper cutting.

Differing from northern paper cutting, known for its magnificence and untamed quality, Shanghai-style paper cutting adds grace and smoothness.

In 2016, the school was honored as Shanghai’s excellent learning and spreading base of intangible heritage, as well as a training center of China’s excellent traditional culture.

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