Bristle Dolls: Bai Dacheng 白大成: 鬃人
Cultural Heritage

Artist working on dollsBristle dolls are modeled after Peking Opera roles. Dolls are arranged on a metal plate and “dance” when the plate is struck. When struck, the plate resonates, sounding much like Peking Opera music. When creating the dolls, Bai takes care to glue to the bristles at a slight angle in the direction he wants the dolls to move. This combination of movement and sound provides a small-scale replica of Peking Opera.

Dolls arranged around a copper platePeking Opera stories themselves are based on the thousands of years of Chinese history. A knowledge of Chinese history is therefore essential when creating the bristle dolls. Bai has studied over 200 years of Peking Opera History to create his dolls, which have opera-based shadow puppet predecessors. Bristle dolls originally developed as toys, but were adapted as a form of entertainment for families too poor to see the Peking Opera.