About CHP

Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP) is a small grassroots, legally-registered NGO working to protect cultural heritage across China.

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Heritage Trail project

Looking for Old Photos of Nanluoguxiang!

As part of the Heritage Trail Project Phase II, CHP is now collecting old photographs from the Nanluoguxiang area. If you have any photographs that you think may be relevant, please contact us by calling 64036532 or by sending us an email at info@bjchp.org.  Many thanks for your support!

CHP Hosts “Sunny Shadows” Family Event

On November 19, Beijing children and their parents gathered at the Shichahai Shadow Puppet Performance Hotel for CHP’s second “Sunny Shadows” cultural heritage education event for families.

Before the performance, volunteers gave an introduction to the history of shadow puppetry in China and the story behind the performance, the Chinese folk legend “the turtle and the crane”. The children watched with wide eyes at the performance, quietly and earnestly following the puppets, a very cute sight indeed.

Kids watch the show with rapt attention!

Kids watch the show with rapt attention!

Afterwards, children who correctly answered questions about the performance were given a special gift: their very own mini shadow puppet dragon!

After their outstanding performance, Georgia and Ella (the little hosts of the program) earned their CHP volunteer credentials. After the performance, adults and children alike went behind the scenes to see how the puppets work and try their hand at puppetry. There was much laughter and warmth; in addition to experiencing the joy and charm of shadow puppetry, guests met new friends, and everyone enjoyed the warm and vibrant atmoshphere.

Performers explain the art of shadow puppetry

Performers explain the art of shadow puppetry

CHP will be honored if more people are able to understand and appreciate Chinese traditional shadow art, and CHP believes the next event will be even more successful!.

We would especially like to thank the Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel, the shadow puppeteers for their wonderful performance, and hotel marketing director Samantha Fang for her support and assistance!

And a big thanks to our volunteers:

陈灿 Chen Can
曾进 Zeng Jin
王建明 (James)
胡晨 Hu Chen
冯美湘 ( Katy)
李烁 Li Shuo
杜安卓 (Andrew)
鲍威 Bao Wei
焦阳 Zhao Yang
齐政 Qi Zheng

Shajing Hutong 沙井胡同

Exterior of 17 Shajing Hutong

Exterior of 17 Shajing Hutong


Shajing Hutong runs east-west, with a bend in the west section, Nanluoguxiang in the East, just southwest of Nanchiwazi Hutong, and to the north of Jingyang Hutong, to the south of Heizhima Hutong.  The entire length of the hutong is 294 meters, the average width 6 meters, the addresses on the two sides run from 3-31 and 2-26, missing number 1.  In the Ming dynasty it was part of Zhaohui Jing Gong Fang, an administrative area, and was called Shajiajing Hutong, or the Sha Family Well Hutong.  During the Qing dynasty it fell under the control of the Bordered Yellow Banner.  During the reign of Qianlong it had the same name, but during the time of Emperor Xuantong (Puyi) the alley was known as Shajing Hutong and this name has remained until today.

Kun Chui Old Residence (15 Shajing Hutong)

Shajing Hutong addresses 15,17,and 19 were all once part of one big courtyard residence.  Originally, number 17 was the main central gate of the residence, and this courtyard the central courtyard of the mansion.  The courtyard was divided into east, central, and western parts, the current number 15 was the east courtyard of the mansion.  The buildings preserved today include a south-facing courtyard with three entrances.  Inside, facing the main gate, is a Suishan screen wall, and the first courtyard has a principal wing of 5 rooms, of the Yingshan style.  The north building of the second courtyard is divided into three rooms, one of which is an entry hall. A gallery wraps around the two courtyards. There is one hall with a Chuihua gate, that separates it from the third courtyard.  The third courtyard has a north wing of three rooms, a front porch behind the building, the two sides each have a small wing room, and the east and west wings each have three rooms.  The courtyard is surrounded by a uniformly-designed verandah.   The last courtyard’s rear “cover room” has another entrance onto Heizhima Hutong. The buildings here are all Yingshan style with “dragon-ridge roofing”.  During the Republic Period, the German Painting Academy was located here, and after the founding of the PRC in 1949 it became the Beijing People’s Art Pavilion.  It has since been occupied by the Beijing Art Academy.

15 Shajing Courtyard, main entrance to former residence of Kui Chen

15 Shajing Courtyard, main entrance to former residence of Kun Chui

Works Cited

Zhong, Jianwei (Beijing Dongcheng Gazetteer of Place Names)

Beijing City Cultural Heritage  Dongcheng District Cultural Heritage Volume

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More about Chinese traditional architecture

Yu’er Hutong 雨儿胡同

Suzhou-style paintings and couplets 对联 adorn the gate of 10 Yu'er Hutong

Suzhou-style paintings and couplets 对联 adorn the gate of 10 Yu'er Hutong


Stretching from east to west, Yu’er Hutong is about 343 meters long and 5 meters wide. It starts from Nanluoguxiang in the east, and ends at Dongbuyaqiao Hutong in the west. Suoyi Hutong is to the south and Yu’er is linked with Mao’er Hutong in the north. Addresses number 1 to No.45 and No.2 to No.34 on either side of the road. It was originally called “Yulong Hutong” in the Ming Dynasty, while part of the administrative district of the Zhaohui Jingzhong Fang. The present name “Yu’er Hutong” has been used since the Qing Dynasty, when it was under the administration of the Bordered Yellow Banner. This name was adopted by the government of the Republic of China. After the founding of the PRC, the name was changed several times, until 1979 when “Yu’er Hutong” was adopted once again.  Currently, the Jiaodaokou District Office of Dongcheng District and other such offices are located in this hutong.

According to the historical documents of Xiaoting Xu Lu, the house of Gongyebushu was located in Yu’er Hutong. (Fuguo Yebushu was the fourth prince of the Qingtaizong Emperor. He was given the title of Fuguogong in the eighth year of the Kangxi Emperor.)

The Former Residence of Qi Baishi: (No.13,Yu’er Hutong)

No.13 of Yu’er Hutong, together with No.11 and No.15, used to be the house of Dong Shuping, the president of Beihai Park, during the time of the Republic of China. His residence was called “The Dong Family Courtyard”. Later on, the land of the house was divided into several plots. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China the Ministry of Art and Culture bought the land containing No.13, and gave it to Qi Baishi (see below). However, Qi Baishi missed his old home in Xicheng District, and he soon moved back to Xicheng after living in Yu’er Hutong for a short period of time. No.13 was then made into a museum celebrating Qi Baishi. Eventually it was acquired by the Beijing Fine Art Academy. Now it houses the Editorial Department of Chinese Painting, a publication of the Beijing Fine Art Academy, and the official meeting place of the Chinese Artist Association. The residence is a registered cultural heritage site in Dongcheng District.

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Sunny Shadows: the Art of Chinese Shadow Puppet Play

In danger of becoming a forgotten craft, Chinese shadow puppetry is an exquisite form of storytelling that originated in the Han Dynasty. Not only is it a captivating and lively form of entertainment, but it is also an elegant folk art.

We want to introduce this gem of Chinese culture to today’s youth.  It is our hope that the kids will fall in love with shadow play, and as a result, gain greater appreciation and awareness for their cultural heritage. This way shadow art can be passed down and preserved through the generations.

Event Details:

1) Shadow play performance

2) Quiz portion for kids (with prizes)

3) Learn basic techniques from puppet masters

The afternoon’s event will be held at the newly renovated Shichahai Shadow Art Hotel, which boasts traditional-opera style décor and a magnificent shadow art theater.

Don’t miss this fun and educational opportunity to experience Chinese shadow play!

Date: Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Time: 4-5:30pm

Venue: No. 24  Song Shu Jie, Xicheng District, Beijing   (Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel)


Ticket: Children (ages 4+) and parents – 40RMB; Members – free

Register via chpnews@163.com or (010) 6403 6532.

Please include your name, contact information, and number of attendees.

*Reminder: There is very limited parking space in the area. We strongly suggest you find another form of transportation besides driving.

Map of Venue

Map of Venue

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