BEIJING, May 12 -- The beauty of Tianjin is prevalent in its natural wonders, architecture, culture, and people.
Serving as a coastal gateway to China's capital, the municipality offers a diverse array of folk arts and theatrical performances. The World Expo stage in Shanghai has gathered all of these attractions into a five-day activity celebrating the city's vigor and color.
At the Bao Steel Stage inside the Expo Park, Tianjin Week kicked off by spotlighting one of the area's most popular stage crafts. Pingju Opera is descended from ancient folk songs and Yangge Dancing. Its topics mostly revolve around historical legends and scenes from ordinary life. The art form's grassroots popularity has remained strong for about 100 years.
Zhang Nini, CCTV Reporter, said, "The beauty of Tianjin continues from the stage to the stalls, where the city's emblems are found in clay figures and kites. From these live demonstrations, the municipality's history is unraveled in its most elaborate and profound forms."
Named after an area in western Tianjin, Yangliuqing New Year Pictures create the city's most notable name cards. The organic combination of wood engraving and hand painting gives the images a vivid appearance that appeals to visitors from far and wide.
At another stall, folk artist Fu Xinyue is midway through engraving a small sculpture, another genre rooted in the municipality. The craft of making Zhang's Clay Figurines, currently practiced by more than 20 regional apprentices, is known for its dainty colors and lifelike looks.
Fu Xinyue, Folk Artist of Clay Figurine Zhang, said, "Zhang's Clay Figurines date back more than 180 years. The technique is distinctive, the texture is refined, and the topics revolve around the everyday lives of people in Tianjin."
From a knitting style that produces lifelike persimmons and clusters of peaches, to the most minute touches on a dough model, the art of Tianjin is opulent and refined. It collectively projects a scene of beauty that onlookers are unlikely to ever forget.