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Figuring things out

By Cheng Yuezhu and Sun Ruisheng | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-12 07:45
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Clay artist Yan Huaqiang's studio in Jinzhong, Shanxi province, with a painting that integrates sculpture techniques displayed on the wall.[Provided to China Daily]

For as long as Yan Huaqiang can remember, he has been playing with clay, first learning to mold small animals from his father, and later acquiring the technique and becoming an inheritor of the regional clay sculpture art form.

Yan was born in 1977 in Jinzhong, Shanxi province, into a family where the clay sculpting artisanship has been passed down for four generations. One of four children, he was the only one with a genuine passion for the art form.

"I felt that the sculptures of human figures my father made were very vivid. It seemed to me that with just a few steps, the figures would come to life. I simply became captivated by its magic," Yan says.

The making of human figurines requires advanced skills, so for years his father taught him to make animals out of clay.

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