The Hutong Zhang Traditional Peking Museum of Folk Art is the only museum comprehensively tracing out the traditional Peking’s folk culture in full-range. The Complex is made up of 6 major components——Traditional Peking Flavor, Folk Toy-Collection, Exquisite Handicraft-Collection, Traditional Games Reviewing, Handicrafts Making and Teahouses with Beijing Opera Experiencing. Tourists at the Hutong Zhang Traditional Peking Museum of Folk Art always linger on the appreciation, relishing, listening and tasting without any thought of leaving. They could be immersed in the ambience of traditional Peking’s folk culture and the emotion of harmony, geniality and simplicity between traditional Peking people.
Hutong Zhang Traditional Peking Museum of Folk Art
The Hutong Zhang Traditional Peking Museum of Folk Art locates on the southern roadside, 30 meters into the west gate of Wanping country town, near the Lugou Bridge in the Fengtai distraction. The gate of the museum has two-floors, facing northward, which looks very magnificent. It blends in with the street scene of Wanpin town, tracing out simplicity and geniality. The exhibition area covers around 600 square meters, displaying thousands of traditional handicrafts and folk toys from different places in Beijing and hundreds of precious historic photos. The unitized work “Peking Flavor” created by “Hutong Zhang”——Zhang Yujuan is also exhibited here. Tourists could enjoy the old street scene of Beijing, play childhood-games and appreciate the Xipi and Erhuang melodies here (the “Xipi” and “Erhuang” are two chief types of music in traditional Chinese operas).
The Peking’s old-street scene in 1920s and 1930s is concentrated in the landscape contracting miniature of the old Peking city on the first floor of the art museum, which is one hundred meters’ long: Outside the grant Fucheng Gate, three camels are walking into the city, carrying coal briquettes; Local Pekingers wearing mandarin jackets, the rickshaws and the carts are shuttling through the road. On the roadsides, two-floor stores in gray color, hanging signboards of the store names——“Xiangsheng Horsetail Shop”, “Zhang’s carving tool”，and the like.
According to the founder of the Hutong Zhang Traditional Peking Museum of Folk Art——Zhang Yujuan, he always yearns his genial and pristine childhood in Hutong. Since considering that the traditional lifestyle of Beijing should be protected as cultural heritage, he established the creativity of concentrating all of the food and amusement into one museum, representing the traditional Beijing Life in full-range.
The “Peking Flavor” is one hundred meters’ long, with time-honored shops standing in great numbers and various characters coming alive. There are not only famous time-honored shops, but also bustling scenery in Xuanwu Deity Temple and various kinds of careers in Peking’s past.
The specialty of the Hutong Zhang Traditional Peking Museum of Folk Art is inviting citizens to join the childhood-games, which brings people the delight in the memory.
The museum of traditional Peking’s folk custom locates in the Wanping country town, with fuller Beijing style. The museum has two floors, the first floor is used to reveal the traditional stores and time-honored shops in ROC period at the end of Qing dynasty. The old buildings in the landscape contracting miniature are carved by wood. The characters are clay figures.
All of the “constructions”——like the Four-Nine City of traditional Peking, the Clock Tower to the north of Di’an Gate, the Houhai area, the Da Shi La area beside Qianmen Street, the Wangfujing area——no matter commerce stores ，herbal medicine shops, teahouses, theaters or academies, all of the architectures and various careers in Beijing, are exhibited in the landscape contracting miniature. When focus on architecture style, you could see the western style is blending in with Chinese style perfectly. Every piece of brick, the traceries of the windows, the ridges of the roofs could be all seen clearly. The horizontal inscribed tablet and couplets on pillars could also be seen clearly. Besides the constructions, the clay figures are also very lively. From the apparels and accessories to the emotional expressions and postures, all are coming alive. There are entertainers lived on vaudevilles passing through the streets, retail business men making transaction, and neighbors chatting in Hutongs——all of the clay figures tracing out the streetwise culture in Peking’s past.
Besides, the traditional Peking’s handicrafts——the clay characters kneading, rabbit making, sugar figures blowing——various kinds of techniques are completely revealed here. The childhood-games like “hopscotch”, “little slingshots playing” and “western pictures painting” are arousing people’s childhood memory. After visiting the first floor, if you climb to the 2nd floor, the traditional Peking teahouse is in your sight, with several traditional Chinese tables for eight and several slat benches. There are Beijing Opera, Cross-Talk and Storytelling on the stage, which bring the traditional Peking’s teahouse culture to you during your tea drinking and relaxing time. Besides tea and opera, noodles with soybean sauce paste here is also a specialty, in fuller flavor of soybean sauce and reasonable price.
Distinguishable Food Stores: The major elements of traditional Pekingers’ lives are 7 stuffs——fagot, grain, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea. Among them, oil, salt, sauce and vinegar must be bought in food stores, so there are lots of stores selling these kinds of things in Beijing, almost spreading over every streets and alleys.
Happy-Event Stores: These kind of stores major in wedding palankeens and deacons charting. They also have gongs, and bass drums and Chinese clarinets, also the dressings for hamals , deacons and dowry carriers.
Liqueur Shops: Traditional Pekingers’ favorite liqueur is called “Laobaigan”. Beijing people in every social hierarchy who enjoy drinking are all like this kind of liqueur.
Bobo Shops: The word “Bobo” stems from one kind of Mongolian cookie in Yuan dynasty. It came to Beijing together with the Mongolian and Manchu people’s entering Shanhaiguan. The Manchu’s bannermen call the cookie “bobo”.
Stewed liver Snack Bars: the “stewed liver” is improved from “Baishuiza” of “Huixianju Restaurant” on Qianmen Street at the end of Qing dynasty. After the stewed liver becoming more and more popular, most of the little restaurants and snack bars add stewed liver one by one.
Lantern Stores: The lanterns are Beijing traditional handicrafts, which has two major kinds: the hexangular palace lamps and the festival lanterns. The “Zaobanchu”(the manufacturing and purchasing office) department under the Royal Ministry of Internal Order in Qing dynasty has a workshop making palace lamps. From the end of Qing dynasty to the beginning of the ROC period, there are several lantern stores on the Qianmen Street. Among them, the “Wenshengzhai” is the most famous one.
Chinese Opera Theaters：The Guanghelou Opera Theater is located in the Wairoushi Street, outside the Qianmen Gate. The world-famous Beijing opera artist Mr. Mei Lanfang’s first show was put on here.
The “Peking Flavor” part of the Hutong Zhang Traditional Peking Museum of Folk Art: The one hundred meters’ streetwise cultural art work exhibition is representing the traditional Peking style. The tourists could intuitively get the essence of the style and features of the traditional Peking.
Folk Toy-Exhibition: There are around 500 toys in plentiful exhibition and broad-based dabbling. Not only traditional Beijing toys, but also toys from all over China are exhibited here, which could easily arouse tourists’ resonance.
Exquisite Peking Handicraft-Exhibition: There are plentiful Peking exquisite folk handicrafts on the exhibition, some of them are rarity in the world. Tourists could feel the unique charm of the folk handicrafts in Beijing.
Childhood-Game Reviewing: Tourist could play childhood-games free of charge and enjoy the delight in childhood. The major items are: “Hopscotch”, “Diabolo Juggling”, “Pinball” and so on.
Handicrafts Making: Tourists could participate in handicrafts making voluntarily. The finished production——like painted facial make-up, kites, clay figures, potteries, paper cuttings, windmills——will belong to the tourists.
Peking Style Teahouses: Tourists could enjoy the tea, food and rest services and the Beijing opera, telefilms and movies about Beijing’s past. You could also book a whole theatre as a group, which needs reservation.
Photography for Memorizing: You could take pictures at the scenery of “Old House Impression” and “Hall of Laoguotang”. The complex delivers picture taking and photos emailing services.