Clay Statue Zhang of Tianjin is a school of folk clay statues，originated from the Qing Dynasty(1644-1911) ， created by a craftsman named Zhang Chang lin.According to the Digests about Tian ji，by Zhang tao， written in the Period of Guang xu(1875-1908) ， “Zhang Chang lin was living in the west of the city， with the courtesy name of Ming shan， born in a clay statue family.The characters’statues in the raditional opera created from his hands were lifelike and well-known both inland and overseas.The foreigner once bought his works at high price and placed them in the museums for people to appreciate.He was especially good at making smal-sized clay statue..”Zhang Chang ln learnt the clay sculpture with his father when he was little.By the age of 18， he had been called Cay Statue Zhang for his proficiency， and ran his family clay sculpture workshop， Sugu Zhai， It is said that he could pinch out a person’s statue which not only resembled closely but also was lifelike， just in the twinkling of an eye while talking with him or her.
The second-generation descendants of Clay Statue Zhang are Zhang Zhao rong， with the courtesy name of Yu ting， whois the son of Zhang Chang lin.His workmanship of pinching clay figurine inherited from the family，but was innovative.His works paid attention to reflect the lives of common people.He was good at showing figures’ inner spirit by dynamic gestures， and blended vivid flavor into realistic depiction.
The Third-generation descendants of Clay Statue Zhang are represented by Zhang Jing hu，nephew of Zhang Zhao rong. On the basis of inheriting traditional style， his emphasis on folk songs creation extended the performance range of the painted Clay Statue Zhang.
Clay Statue Zhang has been founded more than a century.Its painted sculpture is of a wide range of topics：some reflect the folk customs， while some are based on folk tales， stage drama or traditional opera， or being directly inspired by classical literature.The characters they created not only resemble the origins in appearance， but also can express the spirit， which make it both realistic and vivid.