If someone mentions silk fans I think of China and hot summer days when I see people in the street fanning away the striking heat. Chinese fans boasts a long history of over thousands years. You can easily find Chinese fans in many stores all across China but making my own sounded so much better. Being able to immerse myself into Chinese culture, part of which is known as “Fan-making Kingdom” was such a special experience.
One of the most famous Chinese fans is the traditional Chinese 团扇Tuanshan( round fan). This circular silk fan is said to have been modeled after the full moon, and signifies happiness and union in China. It was this silk fan we got to hand paint with the guidance of a very skilled teacher.
The first part of the lesson consisted out of learning how to correctly hold a calligraphy brush and we got to practice how to make long strokes with it. It took me a while before I was able to create one continuous stroke for each reed and it was still not even close to the beautiful reeds of the teacher. It was definitely quite a challenge to learn how to make the delicate orchids that we painted among the reeds and I am still not convinced my orchids came out correctly.
This is the perfect sovenier for me to keep of my time in this lovely country and I will definitely be back to try out a different design soon.
With its humble beginning in the times of the Shang Dynasty around 1,500 BCE, Chinese fans have stood the test of time and are still widely popular today not only in China but all over Asia and all around the world.