Huo Shu Tang: a snapshot of China¡¯s finest handicrafts
As the Chinese place much emphasis on meanings behind objects, one of the best ways to discover China is to know Chinese handicrafts. Handicrafts are like kaleidoscopes, through which you can see the richness of Chinese culture.
Huo Shu Tang, though a small shop, offers more than 100 types of ethnic handicrafts from all over China, most of which are rarely seen. Items here include cloth works, batiks, bean arrangements, clay figurines, paper-cuts, shadow puppets, and embroideries. All of them are made by highly skilled craftsmen.
I found myself amused by a clay work of a thumb (RMB 300), which featured a tiny frog at the tip. It turned out to be a prize-winning work in the shop, and it means ¡°approval and appreciation¡±. I also appreciated a cute bean arrangement work named ¡°Countryside Chophouse¡± (RMB 280), which used beans in various sizes, shapes and colors to feature people, animals, and other objects.
Prices vary quite a bit. For example, a cloth tiger costs RMB 30, while a fine piece of jade engraving costs several thousand RMBs.
The shop owner is an interesting person who speaks a little English.
What I appreciate
A wide variety of handicrafts, the bean arrangement works
What customers appreciate
Exquisite Chinese handicrafts, quality service
The largest pearl store near the Temple of Heaven
Ms. Zhu Shouzhen's Embroidery Art
Fine Silk Fabrics
Gifts from the high mountains of Tibet