Shaanxi has abundant local products, of which some are famous. In the shopping malls and supermarkets in Shaanxi, you can buy Lantian jade, Fengxiang clay sculptures, leather-silhouette figures, Fengxiang woodcut New Year pictures, paper-cuts, and various kinds of local snacks. And you can also buy antiques and ancient-style artworks in antique shops or scenic spots.
The leather-silhouette show is one of the prop operas widely spread among the Chinese people. Accompanied by music and singing, the meticulously engraved puppets are reflected on a screen through lamp-light and artisans operate the puppets behind the screen. It is an ancient and unusual opera art deeply loved by people. The puppets made of pressed and polished hide of cattle, sheep or donkey are painted arts and crafts. The puppets made in Shaanxi feature smooth and exquisite lines, bright colors, and simple and unadorned shapes, showing fine engraving techniques, a strong local flavor and outstanding art characteristics.
Tricolor Glazed Pottery of the Tang Dynasty
A gem of the ancient Chinese ceramics art, the tricolor glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) were basically decorated with yellow, green and brown colors, hence the name. Xi’an served as the capital of the Tang Dynasty, and a large number of tricolor glazed pottery wares were excavated in the city. Therefore Xi’an was named the home of the tricolor glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty. The Shaanxi people have inherited and restored the production of the tricolor glazed pottery for several decades. Almost all tourists to Shaanxi will feel happy to buy tricolor glazed pottery wares as souvenirs.
The farmers’ paintings are a typical modern folk art, which originated from the folk life in North Shaanxi, and evolved from the paintings pasted around the kang (a heatable brick bed), the kitchen sink, cases and cabinets. The themes of the farmers’ paintings mainly include figures, animals, flowers and birds, which are decorative and colorful, with a strong visual impression. The farmers’ paintings from Huxian and Ansai counties are the representatives of the farmers’ paintings of Shaanxi Province.
From south to north in Shaanxi, you can see paper-cuts in varied colors everywhere. The folk paper-cuts of Shaanxi are exaggerative, imaginative and full of delight of life, with rich connotations and implied meanings. It has different styles. Some are exquisite, but not complicated; some are ancient and bold, with unique shapes and clear lines.
Fengxiang Woodcut New Year Picture
With a history of over 470 years, the Fengxiang Woodcut New Year Pictures are folk artworks rooted in the countryside and full of the rural flavor. The woodcut New Year pictures are designed, engraved, printed and painted according to the traditional shapes and customs loved by the farmers, forming a unique artistic style. The Fengxiang Woodcut New Year Pictures enjoy a high reputation in Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai and Sichuan.
Fengxiang Clay Sculpture
As a folk art of Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province, the Fengxiang clay sculptures have absorbed the patterns of ancient stone carvings, New Year pictures, paper-cuts and embroideries. The Fengxiang clay sculptures have a strong rural flavor, with exaggerative shapes, bright colors and true-to-life figures. The Fengxiang clay sculptures are divided into three major categories: clay toys, hanging clay sculptures and clay figures. The clay toys mainly consists of animals, such as the 12 symbolic animals associated with a 12-year circle, often used to denote the year of a person’s birth. There are many kinds of hanging clay sculptures, such as masks, tiger heads, lion heads, ox heads, the Kylin presenting a baby and eight immortals crossing the sea. The clay figures mainly include the characters mentioned in the folk legends and historical stories.
Heyang Picture Pasted with Wood Shavings
The Heyang pictures pasted with wood shavings are the barbolas created by China. The local artisans adopt the wood shavings with different qualities and varied patterns as the raw materials, and create three-dimensional figures, landscapes, insects, fish, birds and animals on wooden, woolen or plastering planks through coloring, clipping, pasting and piecing. The pictures are vivid and lifelike.
The Shaanxi embroidery, a long established art form from Shaanxi Province, was developed by local embroiders on the basis of traditional Chinese embroidery techniques. With well-conceived designs and beautiful colors, the embroidered insoles, pillowcases, cloth, animals, pouches, purses and vests are very appealing.
Luochuan Wool & Gunny Embroidery
The wool embroidery is a new artwork created by the artisans of Luochuan on the basis of the traditional paper-cuts, embroidery and farmers’ paintings. With the gunny cloth as the background, and colorful wool and cotton threads as the raw materials, the artisans in Luochuan produce wool embroidered works through tying, knitting and embroidering. The embroidered patterns are full and smooth with vivid and true-to-life images and colorful colors, showing a bold, simple and exaggerative style. The Luochuan wool embroideries, which integrate fineness, gorgeousness, simplicity and roughness, are decorative and practical wall ornaments.
Suide Stone Carvings
Stone lions are the high-quality products of the Suide stone-carving art. Large stone lions are placed by the gates of the temples, the bridgeheads and the memorial archways; medium-sized stone lions are put in the courtyards; and small ones are laid at the edges of balusters, eaves, kang (a heatable brick bed) and tables. The stone lions produced in Suide are vivid and lifelike, with a great variety of shapes and postures.