Spring Festival Pictures
2004-7-15 19:24:38    
Up to now Wuqiang Spring Festival Pictures has had more than 500 years' history. Wuqiang county has always got a good name "a land of Spring Festival Pictures". At first the pictures were in artists' own hands; then they developed into block printing; and at last they became register printing.

According to legend, Shentu and Yulei raised tigers to catch ghosts in ancient times. So people pasted angel-tiger's picture on the front door as a talisman. The custom was handed down. Wuqiang's Spring Festival Pictures appeared firstly, and the picture workshops had spread all over the county in the last years of Qing Dynasty.

Wuqiang's pictures are painted with rich composition, bold and vigorous lines, shining bright color, exaggerated decoration, distinctive festive and national features. These are outstanding ones among Spring Festival Pictures. Except for a large number of folk materials, Wuqiang's pictures also mirror the features of our new age. They voice people's love and hate for state affairs; reveal the glorious expectation of the future life.

To satisfied the view and study to the traditional folk spring festival pictures, there has established Wuqiang Spring Festival Pictures Society and set up the first museum of the Chinese Spring Festival Custom. 

At the moment, every family could paint pictures in populous Nanguan of Wuqiang. The area became the largest woodcut producing area of Northern China. In Kangxi and Jiaqing periods of Qing Dynasty (1662-1820), Wuqiang's picture industry was in the ascendant. There were about 500 employees and 144 shops. The most annual output reached mare than 0.1 billion and took 1/3 of the county in sales.

Having experienced various difficulties, people set up Wuqiang Spring Festival Pictures Society. And Quqiang's pictures were formally published.Wuqiang's pictures were carved printing blocks on the wood of birch-leaf pear and adopted watercolor block printing (including black, red, green, yellow, purple, pink). Painting, carving and printing closely combine together. This made Wuqiang's pictures simple but beautiful. The general appearance is also well organized with a glaring subject. At the help of the contrast of white and black and the change of varies primary colors, the pictures are full of joy.

Wuqiang Spring Festival Pictures are welcomed by the special artistic style, rich artistic form and wide materials. The pictures have been popular for more than 500 years. In Dec., 1993, Ministry of Culture named Wuqiang as "a land of folk woodcut".

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