Traditional Arts

Kite Wei

(chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2018-07-05

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A kite is being made by the fourth generation of Kite Wei.

Kites

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Kite Wei is the kite made by Wei Yuantai, a renowned kite artist in Tianjin, thus called Kite Wei. 

Wei Yuantai was an apprentice at a festoon shop since childhood, so he became deeply interested in kite-making. In order to improve the making of kites, he repeatedly studied the postures of flying birds and insects, and the proportions of their body parts, and applied them to the production of kites. In the past, kites were mainly hard-winged, with simple shapes and monotonous colors, and were all inseparable. His kite could be separated and folded, and a large kite of one Chi or more could be folded and placed in a small envelope for collection and carrying. He had developed nearly 200 types of kites, including flat, bowed, three-dimensional, string and pocket-size ones. It is rich in national characteristics in coloring, and adopts the color-gradation technique used in the painting of ancient architectures and the contrasting tone of cold and warm, making it more suitable for high altitude flying. In 1914, he participated in the Panama International Exposition with his kites which won him a gold medal and certificate. Later, his cause passed to his nephew Wei Shenxing and his grandson Wei Yongchang. They all worked as craftsmen in Tianjin Arts and Crafts Factory and trained many apprentices. The new samples they designed have earned great reputation at home and abroad.


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