Watch a pro sugar painter in action!

Sugar painting originated during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and its techniques have been studied and improved by many practitioners. The artists typically use hot sugar, drizzling it from a small ladle onto a flat surface. The sugar is still hot after the painting is completed. Next, the artists use a spatula-like tool to remove the paint from the surface, before selling the intricate items to customers. There are few professional sugar painters nowadays and sugar painting has become an intangible cultural heritage in China.

In the video, the artist Shenguo Wei, who is from Jinan, Shandong Province, learned sugar painting skills from his family. He has been doing this professionally for 20 years.