China Lite

The mild wild

Updated: 2010-02-01 11:05
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Tiger…tiger…the so-called wild animal, but they are the laziest in the zoo.

Well it may be the last-moment getting ready, because according to the lunar calendar, their year is around the corner.

Have you ever thought of having such a furry company through out the year? Not for me. The wild is good, but mild would be better.

Yes, toys will do. Though to some designers I want to say "easy tiger". But at least this one proves that you CAN die laughing.

I think I'd prefer something that stands steady. Like here at Hu Pengfei's workshop - clay tigers.

Crude as the little factory is, it's running on a sophisticated pipelining system. And if you'd like to trace the procedure back, through colouring, polishing, kilning and lots of carbon monoxide, moulding… and…that's what they really are, no doubt gifts from the Great Nature.

The only problem is I'm a 100-percent trouble maker. And they won't stand a chance if dropped onto the floor.

If you've got butter fingers like me, then you'll want Liang Daxing's tigers. They are all made of cloth.

Needlework has historically been women's work at home, but when it comes to haute couture, men have had things sewn up. So don't screw up your eyes in disbelief. You are watching the stitching of manly hands, giving a tiger its Chinese nationality.

These cloth tigers were Chinese kids' companions long before the Nintendo, but it's killing me to decide which one to take home. Yes just one. They are kind of room-consuming, which makes me-very much-want to squash them.

Maybe something flat, like this silk scarf bearing paper-cutting patterns. And chances are that paper cut tigers are going to be the theme for this year's design.

After trying it on I decided to pack it up for my grandma. But just the paper-cutting? That would be a "yes" for me.

Within some folding and cutting by artist Liu Ren, an expressionless piece of paper can almost roar at you.

A lot of people make paper-cuttings a private collection today but what's the reason for not showing off? How about a special tiger envelope sent to your friend or maybe, a T-shirt.

Last but not least, traditional Chinese painting. This tiger is from the hands of Wang Qizhi who depicted Chairman Mao on the Tian'anmen Gatetower until the 1970s, and many other Chinese leaders.

No doubt there is heroism exuding from every strand of its fur - and those august eyes - but there's also a price scarier than any tiger– approximately 90,000 yuan per square metre!

Don't sniff if you happen to be a millionaire for it doesn't give you any promise of owning the rare. Yes, artists… you always have to see eye to eye with each other before you can talk. But, phew, at least Mr. Wang promised he'd give me a calendar of it once it's printed out.

Well I think I should leave you alone now to figure out which one is your tiger. But before I go, I do solemnly inform you that leopard print is out this year.


Story: Christie Lee

Filming: Lou Yi

Video editing: Christie Lee