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Sugar people

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– Technique:
– Artist heats sugar syrup to at least 170 degrees.
– Artist kneads syrup into a ball.
– Thin straw is inserted and artist inflates it while shaping.
– Limbs and shapes are created by pinching and pulling.
– Colors are added before cooling, and a stick is inserted for display.

– Popular Figures:
– Animals like dragons, roosters, and pigs.
– Objects such as machetes and spears.
– Figures have a distinct brownish-yellow color.
– Often purchased for ornamental purposes.
– Prices vary from one to tens of RMB.

– History:
Sugar people art form practiced for over 600 years.
– Traditionally set up in markets and schools.
– Now commonly practiced in tourist areas.
– Figures appeal to children and were exchanged for items during hard times.
– Artists would accept metal scraps, broken shoes, old clothing, and toothpaste.

– Similar Art Forms:
– Chinese Folk Art.
– Amezaiku in Japan.
Sugar painting.
Sugar sculpture.
– Tò he.

– References:
– Time Out Hong Kong.
– Xinhua.

Sugar people (Wikipedia)

Sugar people (糖人: Tángrén) is a traditional Chinese form of folk art using hot, liquid sugar to create three-dimensional figures.

Various completed figures on sale.

These fragile, plump figures have a distinct brownish-yellow colour, usually with yellow or green pigment added. They are mainly purchased for ornamental purposes and not for consumption, due to sanitary concerns. Popular figures include animals such as dragons, roosters and pigs, and such objects as machetes and spears.

Similar to the trade of producing sugar paintings, this art form has been practiced in public places for more than 600 years, and can still be seen today. Traditionally, artists set up their point of production and sale in areas such as markets, and outside schools, as the figures appeal to children. These days, this art form is practiced in tourist areas.

Prices can range from one or two, to tens of RMB, depending on the piece. However, during difficult economic times, artists would exchange figures for metal scraps, broken shoes, old clothing, and notably, toothpaste. Children would often scavenge for these items in order to purchase a figure.

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