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Artistic Creation and Cultural Inheritance on Oiled Paper Umbrellas

On the afternoon of October 24th, oiled paper umbrella painting experience activity called “Amazing Umbrella” was held in Best Reading Space, which was initiated and organized by Yu Jiajun, a student from the College of Science. More than 30 students from different colleges painted poetic pictures on their oiled paper umbrellas to experience the charm of traditional Chinese culture.

“Oiled paper umbrella is one of China's intangible cultural heritage and Chinese traditional handicrafts. It has a long history of more than one thousand years and is the essence of Chinese traditional culture”, said Yu Jiajun. At the beginning of the activity, Yu talked the origin, historical background, folk stories, craft, good moral, and development status about the oiled paper umbrella to the classmates. Besides, Yu also showed the different styles of paper umbrellas, and introduced the traditional production techniques from color, composition and other aspects. The beautiful paper umbrella left everyone amazed.

Students are drawing oiled paper umbrellas (Photo by the College of Science)

In the experience session, students couldn't wait to pick up brushes and paints, and carefully draw on blank oiled paper umbrellas and round fans. Students sketch their patterns on oiled paper umbrella while fixing the umbrella with their legs, soon, flower-and-bird scenery, cartoon figures, line drawing and other patterns coming alive on the paper.

Ding Jie, an undergraduate with a keen interest in painting, said, “Oiled paper umbrella is a wonderful carrier. Today, I drew plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum on oiled paper umbrella, feeling the beauty of the integration of the umbrella and painting.” Another student drew emojis on his oiled paper umbrella, which made students surprised and impressed.

As the main initiator of the activity, Yu Jiajun said, “I feel a great sense of achievement to hold such an activity by myself, especially when I see students devoting themselves to it, and I feel that this is the most interesting and meaningful thing I have done since I joined HZAU!”

Students are taking a group photo with their works (Photo by the College of Science)

“ ‘Amazing Umbrella’ -- Oil-paper Umbrella Painting Experience Activity” is the third session in the second season of the College of Science’s small and diverse series of cultural activities “Looking for Initiators” . Since the first session of the first season was launched on March 6, 2021, 15 sessions have been held on a weekly basis. The theme covers music, painting, dance, intelligent machine, drama, film, literature, reading, traditional culture, intangible cultural heritage and so on. “Looking for Initiators” series is a cultural education project explored and practiced by the College of Science to encourage the teachers and students to independently hold small and diversified experiential cultural activities, aiming at stimulating the subjective consciousness and promoting the harmony of teachers and students, activating the campus creativity and experiencing the aesthetics of life. To improve the quality and actual effect of the activity, the college also assigns an instructor to each sponsor to help them define the theme, plan the activity, optimize the design, and provide tracking guidance and help throughout the whole process. This activity mode is well accepted by teachers and students, and at present, the quota of 10 activities in one season has already been booked. In the future, “Looking for Initiators” will also expand the scope of participation and encourage teachers and students to jointly launch activities on a theme across schools and departments, in an effort to create a more humane, open and comfortable campus atmosphere.


Translated by: Lei Mengfan

Supervised by: Zhang Juan