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Artist-at-Work Demonstrations

The Artist-at-Work program features an artist or group of artists who demonstrate their craft in a high-traffic area of the library. 



Chinese Dough Figurines with Rena Wei

Chinese dough figurines were written down as early as the Han Dynasty (2000 years ago). Flour, or glutinous rice flour, are the main raw materials, as well as other soft dough ingrediants. The dough figurines are a traditional toy for children in China in form of edible figurines such as animals, flowers or characters in folk stories. 

Chinese dough figurines are artistic Chinese folk handicrafts. In the old society, the dough figurine artists made it “just to make a living”. Nowadays, the art of dough figurines is valued as a precious intangible cultural heritage.

Saturday, May 18 from 1 pm to 3 pm
Central Library



Candy Art with Rena Wei

Candy Art is the traditional Chinese form of folk art using hot, liquid sugar to create two dimensional figures.

The artist creates designs by pouring hot syrup from a spoon instead of a paintbrush to form the different figures. After modelling is finished, it is stuck onto a bamboo stick and is a popular snack among children.

This ancient skill dates from the Ming Dynasty (14th century). In the book of JIAN KUA BU JI,  people are said to have made sacrifices by pouring sugar syrup in the form of animals and humans. 

In the Qing Dynasty, candy art became more popular, with increasingly sophisticated production techniques and more extensive themes. Most were auspicious patterns popular with the general public, such as fish and monkey, or zodiac symbols.

Rena Wei immigrated to Canada from China in 2009. She loves China and Canada and wants to make her traditional culture part of Canada’s multiculturalism. Rena lives in Waterloo, Ontario with her husband and two children.

Saturday, May 25 from 1 pm to 3 pm
Central Library

Interested in demonstrating your artwork at the library?

See the Artist Program page for more information.