Preserving the art of dough sculptures
In partnership with Macao Magazine, we present one of Macao’s 70 ‘Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage’ items: dough sculptures.
In partnership with Macao Magazine, we present one of Macao’s 70 ‘Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage’ items: dough sculptures. This art, which originated from northern China can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (202-220 BC).
In the past, they were mainly used as edible ornaments, decorations or religious figurines in worship rituals, weddings and harvest celebrations. The dough is steamed, dyed and sculpted into figurines of Chinese deities, historical figures and more and in the 20th century, they became popular toys for children.
Today, however, only a few people still make dough sculptures. Macao-born Lam Iok Hoi is one of them – and he might be the only one doing it as a professional artist. Although the 73-year-old spent his whole life working as a chef, Lam no longer toils in the kitchen. Now he keeps his hands busy preserving this dying art.