Kite-Making, (Beijing and Jiangsu Province, China)

Invented in China in 220 BCE, kites were traditionally made from bamboo frames covered with paper and silk and used to send messages, military signals and measure distances. Over 1000 years later, people began adapting kites for leisure activities and recreation, and traditions such as flying kites to welcome the spring season during Qing Ming Festival began.

Learn more about Chinese kite-making at the Artist Talk on July 13 at 12pm.

Everyone: FREE

Saturday, July 12, 2014
12:00PM – 8:00PM
North Exhibition Common
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto Ontario

Sunday, July 13, 2014
12:00PM – 6:00PM
North Exhibition Common
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto Ontario

Ha Yiqi 哈亦琦
Ha Yigi is a fourth-generation kite maker, whose family has been making kites in Beijing since the late 1800s. A talented artist, Ha studied both Western and traditional Chinese-style painting, and worked as art staff at the Capital Iron and Steel Corporation before he was hired in 1980 by the newly formed Beijing Kite Association. After twelve years there, he started his own kite design company. Through the years, Ha has also been methodically working to document and recreate all of his father and grandfather’s 250 or so designs, which he plans to eventually donate to the government. Committed to preserving the family’s historical designs, he is innovates new kite designs and incorporates new technical approaches to kite making. In 2008, Ha kites were inscribed on the national list of intangible cultural heritage. To insure that the family tradition continues, Ha Yiqi has taken on his nephew, Ha Xin, as an apprentice.

Ha Xin 哈歆
Ha Xin works as an architect during the day and has been making kites with his uncle since 2005.

Zhang Wenzhi 张文智
Zhang Wenzhi is a kite maker from Gangzha district, Nantong city, Jiangsu Province. Growing up there, he became interested in the craftsmanship of the region’s distinctive banyao (boardsnipe) whistle kite—large kites fitted with carved bamboo or gourd whistles that sound in the wind when carried aloft. After a career as a military pilot, he returned to Nantong and dedicated himself to researching banyao kites. For ten years, he visited and studied building techniques with local kite makers. Zhang promotes banyao kites through demonstrations, lectures, and by working to encourage kite flying as a municipal activity.