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    Weifang World Kite Museum
    Tel:0536-8251752 / 8237313
    Fax:0536-8227009
    Email:wfwkm@sina.com
    Address:66 Xingzheng Street, Weifang City, Shandong, P.R. China
    Post Code:261041

Weifang World Kite Museum

The Schools of Kite

The Schools of Chinese Kites
 The Chinese Kites have a long history of more than 2000 years. As a kind of culture and a sort of folklore art, it also has its own schools. As is known to all that China has vast territories. The kites are rich in varieties, whose characteristics have close connections with local culture, and the most representative works are Beijing Kites, Tianjin Kites, Nantong Kites and so on.
Beijing Kites 
    The basic forms of Beijing Kites have five kinds, namely, hard-winged, soft-winged, tempi, long strings and barrels. There are four famous schools for Beijing Kites and the representatives are Ha Guoliang, Cao Family Kites, Jin Fuzhong and Fei Baoling respectively.
   “ Ha Kite” enjoys high reputation in Beijing. The inventor of Ha Family Kite is Ha Guoliang and has been passed down to the fourth generation. The making is quite strict with the materials. The colors are bright and the structure of backbones is neither too sparse nor too tight. The complete procedure makes the backbones firm and exquisite, which could improve the takeoff effect. It is advantageous for it to take off quickly.
     1915年The Butterfly kite, Dragonfly kite, Flower-Basket kite and Crane kite became the winner of the Silver Prize in the International Exposition in Panama, San Francisco of America in 1915. The works of Ha Family Kites were collected by many museums both at home and abroad.
     A famous book,《The Annal on Research of Yao in the South and Yuan in the North》, written by Cao Xueqin, left us a complete system about kite materials on how to make, paint, design and fly kites. It is no wonder that Cao Xueqin is not only a literary master, but also the initiator of Cao Family Kites.
    The representative work of Cao Family Kites was making & pasting swallow, to be more specific, the realistic swallows would be designed by making and pasting them with combination of hard-winged and soft-winged. Cao Family Kites focused on sentiment, requiring both form and expression. That is to say, not only the design, but also the expression while flying.
(Ancient Palace Kite)
     The Palace Kite, representsd by Beijing Kite, was a kind of kite was made specifically for royal aristocrats. Its fine material, excellent craftmanship and exquisite decoration showed the majesty and luxury of the sovereign. Peace and luck were the main subjects of this kind of kites.
Tianjin Kites
 Tianjin Kites, which have a long history on its making technique and fine handicraft, are also one of the representative kite schools. Tianjin Kites have vivid designs, elegant colors and exquisite handicraft. It is quite strict with choosing the materials. Usually tight, long and flexible bamboos would be chosen for the    backbones. On the basis of inheriting the traditional technique, Tianjin Kites make continuous efforts to innovation and development. Their elegant design and fine colors make them become the treasure of folklore handicraft industry. Either can you fly or hung on the wall for appreciation. The representatives are “Wei Kites”, Ma Jieru, Guo Xiaoyun and so on.
   The initiator of “Wei Kites” was Wei Yuantai, who in his artistic practice initiated using strong fine brushwork to remove rings, contrast between cold color and warm color, symmetry of axis in backbones, middle symmetry and so on. These valuable techniques left generations making criterion, standard pattern and traditional tips for handicrafts. At the present time, “Wei Kites” have already been passed on to the fourth generation. Wei Guoqiu, the fourth generation deliever, have made new improvement on the technique of kites. His kites are convenient to fold ,unfold and carry. Pure hand craft and simple outlines make his kites rich in ethnical characteristics.
The Formation of Weifang Kites Schools
    Influenced by the folklore art-shaped crafts, embroidery, jewellery and woodblock prints, Weifang kites gradually form two main categories, namely, Yangjiabu Kites with woodblock prints as its core and Old Wei County Kites with literati and gentlemen enjoying paintings as its core.
Weifang Kites:
     Located in Qi and Lu state, Weifang is known as a cultural city as well as a hometown for handicraft industry in history. Weifang kites began to be famous by the common people from Song Dynasty, reached popularity in Ming Dynasty and were prosperous in Qing Dynasty.
    Weifang kites, which have strong local characteristics and vivid charm, are the combination of locality and art tradition, more often, the combination of practicability and beauty. After tentative improvement and continuous creation, a unique style with elegant design, exquisite making and bright colors has been formed, which later came out two kite schools, namely, Yangjiabu kites and Old Wei County kites. During the process of their development, eleven kite masters with their own characteristics have occurred.
Nantong Kites:

    Nantong Kites are most typical and representative for its banyao. Many kite fans are deeply appreciated by its simple design and bright color. Banyao is enormous and flat, with hexagon as its base and exquisite painting. While flying, it will make different sounds, like a piece of strong symphony in the sky. Compared with the northern kites, it is more exquisite and elegant.
    Nantong Kites are represented by Guo Wenhe and his father. They were taught by a famous kite handicraftsman Shi Zishou and made continuous improvement and innovation to form unique Nantong Guo Family Kites on the basis of inheriting the traditional kites.