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              Fan
              Learn Chinese - History and Culture

                        Fan
              Fan
              (shàn zǐ 扇子) is a must in summer. It can drive away summer heat and help bring cooling breeze. Since old ages, the Chinese fan has been carrying artistic and unique national style. China has always been regarded as “the kingdom of fans”. The fan first appeared in China about 3000 years ago, in the Shang (shāng 商) and Zhou (zhōu 周) dynasties. However, the fan in the early period was not used to help bring cooling breeze, but used as the symbol of etiquette. And it was called “the fan of honor”. After the Qin (qín 秦) and Han (hàn 漢) dynasties, the main shapes of fan are square, round and hexagon. The material that used to make fan are mainly silk. Because the silk fans were often used in royal court, people called them “court fan” (gōng shàn 宮扇). During the Tang (táng 唐) and Sui (suí 隋) dynasties, the prevailing fans are the round fan, feather fan, and some paper fans. The folding fan gradually became popular after Song (sòng 宋) Dynasty. In Ming (míng 明) and Qing (qīng 清) dynasties, the home of folding fans are Zhejiang (zhè jiāng 浙江), Suzhou (sū zhōu 蘇州) and Sichuan (sì chuān 四川), etc. Then writing poems and the vogue of drawing pictures on the cover of a fan is rising. Then this exquisite skill has been introduced to Europe, and became popular all over the world.

              Paper Fan with CalligraphyThere are many kinds of Chinese fan, such as paper fan, silk fan, palm fan, feather fan, bamboo-knitted fan, etc. regarding the shapes of the fan, there are rectangular, round pentagonal, hexagonal and sunflower-shaped fans. However, the most famous fans are the sandalwood fan (tán xiāng shàn 檀香扇), the fire painting fan (huǒ huà shàn 火畫扇), the bamboo-knitted fan (zhú sī shàn 竹絲扇)and the silk fan (ling juàn shàn 綾絹扇).

              The sandalwood fan is made by sandalwood, which has a natural fragrance. Even after many years, then sandalwood fan is also fragrant. It is very popular with people for its unique craft and style.

              Sandalwood FanThe fire painting fan is first produced during the late period of Tongzhi (tóng zhì 同治) in Qing Dynasty. Then the technics of making the fire painting fan was developing. When making the fire painting fans, the workman combines two thin glass fans together and then painting on the fan with a tailor-made pen. The painting is comely, and will never fade. It is a competitive product to collect.


              Fire Painting FanThe bamboo-knitted fan, usually called “gong fan”(龔扇), get the fame that as colorful as rosy clouds, and as thin as the wings of cicada. And it is always peach shaped. It is light yellow with delicate cover. It seems as a piece of brocade. With the handle made by ivory or ox bone, and decorated with pendant made from silk, the fan is with surpassing brilliancy.

              The silk is commonly used to make the cover of the round fan before the coming of folding fans. And nowadays, it is also used to make the cover of the folding fans. All the fans that with the cover of silk can be called silk fan. The person who holds the silk fan always appears gentle and cultivated.

              扇子

              Bamboo-knitted Fan      扇子是引風用品,夏令必備之物。中國扇文化有著深厚的文化底蘊,是民族文化的一個組成部分,它與竹文化、佛教文化有著密切關系。歷來中國被譽為制扇王國之稱。扇子主要材料是:竹、木、紙、扇、象牙、玳瑁、翡翠、飛禽翎毛,其它棕櫚葉、檳榔葉、麥稈、蒲草等也能編強或制成各種千姿百態的日用工藝扇、造型優美,構造精制,經能工巧匠精心鏤、雕、燙、鉆或名人揮毫題詩作畫,使扇子藝術身價百倍。

                    中國扇文化起源于遠古時代,我們的祖先在烈晶炎炎夏季,隨手獵取植物葉或禽羽,進行簡單加工,用以障日引風,故扇子有障日之稱,這便是扇子的初源。
              《爾雅》中談道:“以木曰扉,以葦曰扇。”從這可推測,早期的扇子可能是長方形的葦編物。早期的扇子并非用來納涼,而是用作統治者禮儀之具,所以又叫“儀仗扇”。我國秦漢以后,扇子的形制主要有方、圓、六角等形,扇子的面料采用絲織的絹素,由于宮中用得多,故又稱“宮扇”,隋唐兩代,盛行于世的主要是紈扇和羽扇,以及少量的紙扇。宋以后,折扇漸漸流行。明清時期,浙江、蘇州、四川等地盛產折扇,題字作畫亦興于此。這一精湛的技藝從明代開始傳入歐洲,然后風行世界。

              alt      扇子種類繁多,最有名的要數檀香扇、火畫扇、竹絲扇和綾絹扇。檀香扇是用檀香木制成,其木質堅硬。白者白檀,皮腐色紫者紫檀,白檀為勝。有天然香味,輕輕搖,馨香四溢。此扇有“扇存香存”的特點,保存十年八載后,扇起來依然幽香陣陣,沁人心脾。夏令既去,藏入衣箱,還有防蟲、防蛀的妙用?;ㄊ狡贩N有拉花、燙花、雕花、繪畫、印花、鑲嵌和接骨等。一般經鋸片、組裝、鎪拉、裱畫、繪畫和上流蘇等十多道工序組成。檀香扇以其獨特技藝,獨具風格,富有工藝性,而至今深受人們的喜愛。

              Feather Fan     “火畫扇”始創于清代同治末年,后來工藝逐步發展,制作時選薄玻璃扇兩柄,合成一柄雙面扇,然后用一種特制的火筆作畫而成,清秀典麗,永不腿色,是欣賞收藏的精品。

                    竹絲扇俗稱“龔扇”, 有燦若云錦、薄如蟬翼的美評。扇面多是桃形,形似紈扇,是用細如絹絲的竹絲精心編織而成的。它顏色嫩黃,薄而透光,綿軟而細膩,恍若織錦,圖案或山水人物,或花鳥蟲魚,無不維妙維肖,加上象牙或者牛骨做的扇柄,絲質扇墜,簡直玲瓏剔透,精美絕倫,被譽為巧奪天工的國寶。

                    綾絹在折扇出現之前就廣泛用來制作紈扇扇面,如今也用來作折扇的扇面,凡是用綾絹作扇面的扇子都可以稱為綾絹扇。綾絹扇扇面輕如蟬翼、薄如晨霧、色澤光亮,給人以溫文爾雅之感。

               

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