In Feng Zicai's "Clay Figure Zhang", there is a saying, "When the audience is watching the show, they squeeze the clay figure with their hands in their sleeves. After they have squeezed it out, take a look. It looks like the stage, he does." Zhang Mingshan, the founder of the famous clay figurine Zhang, was described in Tianjin. In Pingdu, Qingdao, there is also a skilled clay sculpture expert Gao Jie.
Gao Jie, 52, is a native of Qingdao. "When I was a kid, I followed my mother and knead the dough. At that time, I loved kneading small things." Gao Jie was fond of kneading mud since he was young. Later, Gao Jie entered the Pingdu Cultural Museum to study Chinese painting. He also integrated the abstract, freehand and exaggerated techniques of Chinese painting into clay sculpture creation.
Clay sculptures look simple, but they are very complicated to make. "It needs to go through 18 processes including soil selection, screening, sedimentation, kneading mud, awakening mud, shaping, overdrying, firing, painting, etc. Each process must be sloppy, otherwise the works produced will have defects." Gao Jie said.
During the creation process, Gao Jie collected and flattened the black, yellow, and red clay everywhere. It takes about four or five hours to knead and mold, and then it is modified and polished. It must be dried for one month in the air, otherwise it is easy to crack, and then baked in the furnace for 24 hours, and finally painted, a beautiful clay sculpture is considered to be completed.
Farmers in corn fields, vendors selling sugar gourds on the streets, old men bent over to pick up firewood ... Gao Jie's home is filled with clay sculptures of various rural themes, showing the colorful rural life to the fullest, one by one, the wonderful clay sculptures of the village The characters are addictive.
Art comes from life and inspiration comes from accumulation. Gao Jie often goes deep into the fields, the streets, and lanes to observe the characters around him. "Each of my character works has a different look, attitude, and clothing, and the inner world conveyed is very different." Gao Jie said.
His works such as "Happy Farmhouse", "Happy Countryside" and "Rural Policy and Happy Events" are full of rich rural flavor, reflecting the hardworking simplicity of the working people and the new atmosphere of rural life.
The first prize of "Taishan Culture Award" in Shandong Province, the first batch of "Qilu Culture Star" in Shandong Province, and the outstanding achievement award of Qingdao citizen art ... Nowadays, Gao Jie Clay Sculpture has become a beautiful cultural business card in Qingdao and even the whole province, attracting Many clay sculpture enthusiasts from home and abroad came to exchange and interact and learn from the teachers.
For half-life clay sculpture, what Gao Jie remembers most is that this traditional craft can be passed on. "The clay sculpture art has been circulating for thousands of years, embodying the wisdom of the ancestors and witnessing the development of social civilization." Gao Jie said. He hopes that he can carry forward the clay sculpture art with his disciples in the future, so that this Chinese cultural and artistic treasure will continue to shine in the new era.