STORY: Well, we have arrived at the X-creativity Soul Art Shop.
Let’s go and have a look.
Jack: In the case of workmanship, I think the Lord Rabbit crafts in your store are exquisite.
Zhang Yang: Well, Lord Rabbit originates from Beijing culture.
Traditionally, the rabbit crafts used to be clay sculptures.
But now, we use a new material called polymer clay to make them.
The new material helps make the crafts more delicate.
The new material gives it a new appearance.
It originates from Germany.
Jack: So it’s a combination of new material and traditional Beijing elements.
Zhang Yang: Indeed. You can see that every craft in the room is based on a certain culture point. However, after people have a deep understanding of culture and art, they put a lot of natural feelings and expressions into the artwork.
Zhang Yang: Just let people show the happiness in their heart. And express it in the form of art.
Jack: So did the original Lord Rabbit look like this? The traditional one.
Zhang Yang: The old Lord Rabbit crafts were clay sculptures.
Jack: Did they look more serious and majestic?
Zhang Yang: Yes, they were serious. And they had many flags on their back.
Jack: So that confirms the combination you have mentioned between the traditional serious elements and the modern humanity. Then the result of the combination is what it is like now. A cute one.
Zhang Yang: Yes, it combines the traditional elements with people’s preference towards exquisite art.
Zhang Yang: There are several main areas and different kinds of artwork in our shop.
This area is the special area of Lord Rabbit. ll the artwork there are Lord Rabbit crafts.
Let’s go and see. Those are blue and white Lord Rabbit crafts.
Those blue and white ones are based on the traditional Chinese colors.
The traditional Lord Rabbit crafts were colorful.
Because traditionally, the Lord Rabbit was the rabbit on the moon.
As there was plague in the world of men,the Lord Rabbit came from the moon,
riding an elephant, a kirin, or a tiger.
It brought good fortune to human beings.
And the reason why the crafts were colorful was that
many people died of the plague and they hated the color of white.
Jack: Are you from Beijing?
Zhang Yang: Actually, I am not.
Jack: So, you are from...
Zhang Yang: The northeast of China.
Jack: The first time I saw these colorful crafts, cause I...
I come from Taiwan.
And my hometown is southern Fujian.
The temple construction, the handicrafts,
even the statues of gods there have many colors.
Then I found that the difference between Beijing style
and my hometown style
is that everything seems gloomy here.
But in southern Fujian, you can see
red tiles and bricks everywhere.
Zhang Yang: I guess that may be because Beijing used to be a royal area.
Jack: Near the emperor.
Zhang Yang: It had a majestic atmosphere.
I just guess, because I had never searched for information about it.
Jack: Yes. I have heard this opinion.
Near the royal area.
The palace had glazed roof tiles, red or yellow.
Zhang Yang: Yes, the other areas could make it more salient.
Jack: Could you please tell us the story of the Lord Rabbit?
Zhang Yang: It originates from the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
At that time, there was a plague in Beijing and Tianjin.
The goddess on the moon didn’t want the people to be in pain so she sent her rabbit to save human beings, bringing medicine to them.
From then on, to memorialize the contribution of the rabbit and to channel good fortune,
people made statues of the rabbit, put them in their house, and prayed for luck.
When we mention the goddess on the moon, we think of eating mooncakes during the Mid-autumn Festival.
And the Lord Rabbit lives on the moon with the goddess.
So the rabbit has become...
Jack: The symbol of the Mid-autumn Festival?
Zhang Yang: Yes. Some people also call the Mid-autumn Festival
the birthday of the Lord Rabbit.
There are also many other stories about the rabbit.
However, as far as I know, it is the patron saint of good fortune, guarding harmony and safety.
Jack: According to the explanation of the owner, I find that the Lord Rabbit has changed from
an abstract god who gets rid of plague and protects people from bad things to concrete crafts.
Now in 2014, it has been objectified once more, with modern humanity in it.
Zhang Yang: Yes. People see the concrete crafts.
They carry the old culture and bring good luck to people around the world.
Jack: When I looked for the original old Beijing style, I found it in your store, in those statues. Although they are not the most original ones but have some modern art in it,
I have noticed that...
For example, that table.
Zhang Yang: This is another kind of artwork other than the Lord Rabbit.
The old Beijing lifestyle.
For example, in the hutongs of old Beijing, you could always see people selling sugarcoated haws on a stick,performing cross talks, drinking big bowls of tea, playing bass drum and doing other Beijing style things.
However, as time passed by, people’s lives have been modernized.
These old traditions have gradually disappeared.
But we use the handicrafts to reproduce the original old Beijing lifestyle and atmosphere.
Jack: Please explain who they are and what they are doing.
What's the situation? Is that a family?
Zhang Yang: The man there is a storyteller.
He is telling the Generals of the Yang Family.
Maybe he is telling the exciting part.
You can feel the simple lifestyle at that time and
the atmosphere of the story from it.
Jack: Very vivid.
Zhang Yang: Yes.
Jack: So that's the big bowl of tea?
You reproduce the Beijing big bowl of tea.
Zhang Yang: Yes.
Jack: They drank it when they watched operas or other performances.
Zhang Yang: Yes.
Jack: No mobile phones, video games, computers, or TV series.
It is a combination of all the things I mentioned above.
Beijing big bowl of tea.
Zhang Yang: Yes. That kind of life was steady and peaceful.
These are all kinds of...
Jack: These are what I want to see in Beijing hutongs.
Zhang Yang: Selling sugarcoated haws on a stick.
Although you cannot hear the yelling, you can imagine the selling situation and the atmosphere from their expressions.
It is called "perfect."
Jack: Well, why?
Zhang Yang: If you look at it carefully, you will find that there are ten sticks of sugarcoated haws on it.
You can see that they can be moved.
You can pull it out.
You can also pull this out.
Let people feel the breath of life in the artwork.
Jack: People who buy it can interact with it. Oh, I can pull it out.
Zhang Yang: Yes, you are right.
Jack: Today I pull one out,then two.
Zhang Yang: You are right. Indeed.
Real life is about interaction, with goods and with people.
Jack: Is the material used here the same as the German one used on the Lord of Rabbit we have just seen?
Zhang Yang: Yes. Polymer clay. It is a terrific art material.
Jack: I find these statues represents...
They show representative actions and situations.
Zhang Yang: Yes. Ten kinds.
For example, the first one is sugarcoated haws on a stick.
The second one...
Zhang Yang: This one should be sounding the night watches.
Sounding the night watches.
Jack: Oh, he is a night watchman.
Zhang Yang: Yes, but he is carrying a lantern.
So some people said he looked like a ministry councilor.
Jack: Yes. Because his clothes seem expensive.
And this one...
Zhang Yang: Walking birds.
Jack: Walking birds. Yes. Also old Beijing.
Zhang Yang: Story-telling in Beijing dialect with drum accompaniment.
Story-telling in Beijing dialect with drum accompaniment.
Jack: But I think the most interesting one is the tooth extraction statue.
I think they are very interesting.
They not only show themselves.
The solid things let me hear some sound
and even let me feel the pain,
the tooth extraction one.
Zhang Yang: Yes. You can feel the atmosphere of living and observing carefully.
Jack: The owner went to collect money.
You can see that the business here is good.
I have seen several handicraft stores
and I think this one is very dedicate.
The store also has assistants
who can explain things to the customers.
Jack: I think the store is considerate.
It not only lets customers choose goods themselves
but also has good explanations.
It has special assistants.
Staff: I’m here to help customers to get to know Chinese culture and our brand as well as the special handicraft culture of our brand.
Jack: I think the girl is like a tour guide in the museum.
Telling stories to people every day.
Staff: Yes. I feel very happy.
Jack: Yes. Share the old Beijing lifestyle and the story of the handicrafts.
Staff: Although I stand in this certain room, I can get in touch with people across the world.
Jack: Are there any foreign people?
Staff: Sure. I met foreign friends.
Jack: So you introduce things to them in English?
Staff: Yes.I need to use English.
Excuse me. I have given a mission.
I’m a little nervous.
Jack: Oh, it’s because my English is bad.
Well, thank you.
Staff: Thank you.
Jack: Let’s go.