- Tai Chi
- Chinese Opera and Beijing Opera
- Chinese Acrobatics
- Where To See Opera in Beijing
- Traditional Chinese Literature
- Chinese Gardens
Beijing Arts and Culture
Chinese arts – highest expression of culture
Calligraphy is regarded as the highest and most abstract Chinese art, yet it can still be appreciated by people with no understanding of the Chinese characters. The style in which the characters are written can express as much as or more than the characters themselves. In ancient times the power of the written was so revered that people slept with holy books under their pillows to ward off spirits.
Chinese Arts – Painting
Chinese painting and Chinese calligraphy are closely related. Chinese painting generally uses a small number of carefuly defined brushstrokes to paint a picture – and includes the artist’s calligraphy as well.
Chinese Arts – Chinese Opera
Chinese opera combines singing, dancing, music, stylised action, dialogue or mime, masks, make-up, costume and acrobatics to tell stories from Chinese history and legend.
Beijing Opera is the best known variety of Chinese Opera, but it is by no means the only one. Most Chinese opera variants make use of traditional Chinese musical instruments like the erhu, the lute and the gong.
Chinese Arts – Acrobatics
Chinese acrobats are among the worlds’ most accomplished, and happily this is one art form that you can enjoy in Beijing and China without understanding a word of Chinese. Some acts are quite awe inspiring, you will see things you never knew a human body was capable of doing.
Chinese Arts – Literature
Traditional Chinese literature reflects Chinese beliefs about the high artistic nature, even spiritual power of the written word. So strong was this conviction that people believed that reading passages from the classics, or sleeping with them under their pillows, could ward off evil spirits. Confucius taught that only history, calligraphy, philosophy and poetry were sufficiently serious to be worthy of the written word.
Chinese Arts – Chinese Gardens
Chinese gardens are some of the most idyllic and evocative places in China, gardening is seen as a high art. The garden was the traditional retreat of the Chinese scholar, a place of quiet beauty, calm and sophistication in which to smoke a pipe, read poetry and play chess.
Chinese gardens combine rockery, water and architecture in a way that can seem at once jumbled and logical, a vista, never the same twice, of the natural world recreated by man.
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What to see and do around Beijing
Wonder at the Great Wall, be awed by the magnificent Forbidden City, drink in the scenery from a boat on the Summer Palace’s Kunming Lake.