Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dough Figure Sculpturing - WS

I was strolling along Waterloo Street, waiting for my Malaysian relatives who were praying at a nearby temple. Seeing a huge crowd ahead, I inched my way to the middle.

A young man was sculpturing a dough figurine of a tourist. Using several simple tools and different coloured dough, he began shaping the figure with deft fingers. Fascinated, I decided to watch.

I'm amazed by the young man's eye for details. Even the logo on his client's T-shirt didn't escape his eye. He focused on his subject and 20 minutes later, the product was completed.

Dough figurine is a traditional Chinese folk art with a history of more than one thousand years. Colored dough is made of flour, sticky rice flour, honey and preservatives, then steamed and kneaded with different colors.

His simple tools and coloured balls of soft dough.


A display of his completed work.

The happy couple who paid S$20 each for their dough figurines.

Dough figurines of the handsome couple.

These dough figurine remains colourfast and intact without getting decayed for decades.





43 comments:

  1. Brilliant! I wish I can find one like him here in Manila :)

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  2. This is so interesting. I've not seen it before though... I will be keen to make for my boys :)

    I've got an award for you.... awesome mommy :)

    http://janiceng.blogspot.com/2009/02/best-mom-award.html

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  3. sasha,
    I hope someone would organise a a dough figurine sculpturing fair in Manila. This is a traditional Chinese folk art which is worth promoting.:)

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  4. Janice,
    You can learn this art at such a class in Chinatown.

    Thanks for the award. :)

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  5. Amazing!
    I had no idea it was such an ancient Chinese tradition eventhough I grew up in S'pore.Oddly enough the heads give me a little flashback of statues at Haw Par Villa.
    I must go to Watreloo Street to have it done next time I go back to S'pore.Here in Europe they do similar stuff but with marzipan.Not the same charm tho.

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  6. This is cool. How much is one? I hope not too expensive.

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  7. Hi Jean,
    Nice to have you visiting.

    This artist does not work permanently in Waterloo Street. He moves around the island. I'll try to get his contact number.

    He has some really lovely sculptures. Marzipan sculptures cannot last as long as this dough material.

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  8. JL,
    He's charging S$20 per person. I find it expensive but this is tedious handicraft.

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  9. Beautiful, simply beautiful.

    I'd probably get one myself. That's definitely an unique gift to acquire.

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  10. Thanks for the welcome!
    $20 may seem a bit pricy but the artist has such a keen eye and technique as you've pointed out.I'm not surprised really that he moves around as he must find hot spots to make money.
    Your'e right about marzipan.It shrivels up after awhile and anyway here its mostly done in forms of fruit etc especially as X'mas treats.I've never eaten them tho, imagine all the fingers that have touched them and the bacteria left behind.Ew!LOL!I'm a bit paranoid about that.

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  11. Hello dieselfire!! :)
    It is a wonderful gift. I'm considering getting them done for my nieces and nephews.

    I can just give the artist their photos.

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  12. Jean,
    The young artist is from China and he is really into the details.

    I don't dare to eat marzipan too when I think of the fingers who touched them. haha...

    My son is training to be a chef and what he tells me happening in kitchens, makes me more wary of food prepared by others. :P

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  13. Interesting! I was once interested in dough figurines but I had a hard time in detailing, hehe.

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  14. Fascinating! He must work really quickly to make good money. I don't think $20 is expensive.

    I've made marzipan fruits (but most of the ones in the shops are made by machine!) and I've made people out of sugar (hardens & lasts forever) but it takes me a long time.

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  15. I am in awe of his ability to carve such intricate detail with the dough. Inspiring and another new thing I've learned from your blog. I hope you had a nice weekend.

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  16. Wow play dough on the highest level hehehe...seriously though. Sometimes I think so much talent is wasted on the streets! That man has real talent.

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  17. I am impressed with his skills though I personally find this kind of figurine eerie.

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  18. This is an art. It's great that he uses his gifts and talents well. :)

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  19. These lovely figurines will add a touch of warmth and love to your home.

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  20. hi ECL, interesting! did you get one for yourself?

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  21. Saw this when I was in China...it's amazing what they can do with dough.

    BTW, just for the fun of it I tried your Google translator-- buay zun one leh!

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  22. Woah that's really nice! I love how he manage to capture the details of the woman's blouse.

    AmazinG!

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  23. Interesting! The man is so talented. It'll be nice to have a dough figurine of myself but somehow I find it a bit creepy to see own figure. Maybe I relate it to black magic. Haha!

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  24. Love to have one myself and see how I look on the dough:) Hope it last and doesn't gets mouldy fast.

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  25. It must take considerable talent to do that in just 20 minutes.

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  26. Did u ask him to make one also?
    Can eat the figurines? Seems like the "ingredients" are all edible. Ha ha ha!

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  27. That's a fascinating process. Beautiful results!

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  28. That's interesting! Hope to stumble upon that when I visit Singapore soon.

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  29. what a gifted guy. and the price is not that high for such lovely figures.

    thanks for dropping by my blog and the wonderful comment. have a great week.

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  30. That's fascinating! I would love to have mine done too.

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  31. amazing talent! thanks for sharing this wonderful experience.

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  32. Very nimble fingers he has got. Given the dough to me..I'll be squashing them with my clumsy fingers at lightning speed! :P

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  33. wow! great talent!

    it only shows that despite today's technology, nothing still beats the works of hands

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  34. That's amazing! I couldn't have pulled that off in 20 hours much less 20 minutes! Astonishing!

    Can't imagine how an organic medium like that can stay stable for years either. Truly incredible.

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  35. The dough sculpture is great. Looks like fun to watch it being done.

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  36. he's really impressive. he can do big bucks with that!

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  37. he's really impressive. he can do big bucks with that!

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  38. Thanks ECL for posting this article! I used to buy such figurines when I was a kid! haven't seen this for a long long time! dying Art! Hey! I am going to link to this post on dough figurines in my future post on childhood things!!! Maybe copy one or two photos? Thanks!

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  39. wow that is so interesting! good thing they let you took their photos. =) 20$? hmm... seems fair enough, pretty good for that price

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  40. This is amazing talent! Thanks for sharing this here.

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  41. those could be cute souvenirs for weddings :)

    have a happy week :)

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  42. great idea for v close friends@! I shld check it out! thanks!

    re 2nd dog. I've already altered much of my lifestyle around Sprite. A 2nd one to keep her company while I'm away and to play w - I don't see it as another major adjustment issue. Well, the prob is w finding the right one. I was v blessed with Sprite. FOr a jack russell, her temperament is amazing, according to many friends and students. Like they say, like master, like pet. Haha.

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