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Art Genre & Characteristics of Chinese Kites

The art of Chinese kites has developed endlessly alongside the long history of the nation's cultural traditions. Each kind of kite art has its strong point due to its strong affinity with each rich and colorful historical period. The specific kite art and firmly relates with the music, dance, drama, folk-custom, and religion of their respective areas.

Various art systems and genres have formed over time. Generally, there are six kinds: Beijing kite, Weifang kite, Tianjin kite, Nantong kite, Jiangnan kite, and Taiwan kite.
Beijing Kites

Generally, there are seven kinds of artistic sculptures concerning Beijing kites: pricking swallow, hard wing, soft wing, symmetrical swallows, board, cluster, and canister.

The characteristics of Beijing kites include delicate frameworks, precise colored drawings, naturalness and gracefulness, and a high worthiness of being viewed and admired.

Typical Beijing kites are Caoshi, Jinshi, and Hashi kites, with new types of Beijing kites having come forth in a great number in recent years.

 Weifang Kites

Weifang kites, during a long development period, have passed its unique artistic individuality from generation to generation, with there being innovations in many aspects such as theme, sculpture, and painting. Meanwhile, this kind of kite has similarities with Beijing and Tianjing kites.

Weifang kites fully demonstrate folk custom and vividness, which comes from adopting the advantages of other kinds of kites. Especially, in terms of the sculpture structure and painting color, Weifang kites transfer techniques of making woodblock New Year pictures to kite making and exercise the skill of traditional Chinese painting on drawing. It forms a unique feature of being exquisite in sculpture and delicate and gorgeous in artwork, which has become one of the important genres of Chinese kites.

The characteristics of the Weifang kites' artistic sculpture and style are their carefully selected materials, exquisite sculptures, delicateness, vivid images, bright-colored paintings, various kinds, and agile flying-off.

Among all the families of the Chinese kites, Weifang kites are affluent in themes, singular in the selection of material, magnified and transfigured in design, technical in painting by New Year's picture drawing skills, and ingenious in exercising the mechanics on flying-off, which composes its serene style and peculiar verve. It has a long history and for a long time has been famous all over the world.

Tianjin Kites

The outstanding characteristics of Tianjin kites are the techniques of the framework and fastening and the colors of the designs. Based on traditional sculpture, Tianjin kites try to be unique, aiming to find something new and fresh in design and painting.

Nantong Kites

The artistic style of Nantong kites can be generalized as being plain in sculpture, having a multi-tuned whistle, and demonstrating elegance on colored patterns. The basic style of Nantong kites can be divided into "fixed-snipe" and "unfixed-snipe." (what does snipe refer to?)

The most outstanding characteristic of Nantong kites is the sound device. Various whistles, big and small, with the quantity differing from one hundred to three hundred, are installed on the Nantong kites, hence the kites' nickname of "Symphony on Air."

Jiangnan Kites

The typical Jiangnan kites are "Symmetrical Fish" and "Snipe-Eagle," both of which are traditional kites made by the techniques of woodblock print.

Taiwan Kites

The characteristics of Taiwan kites' sculpture are that they place an emphasis on feature and are summarized and simplified as well as magnified and transfigured.

Taiwan kites are good at soft-winged structures.

One kind of the kite figure is shaped according to the imitation of the beautiful part of natural objects. The other kind is the simulation of natural objects. It mainly has 21 kinds approximately, such as peg-top, dragon, aniseed, Chinatown, Eagle, butterfly, dragonfly, goldfish, symmetrical fish, salangane (a kind of bird), seven stars, seagull, palace lantern, flying tiger , centipede, big butterfly, big colored-butterfly, and so on.

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