|» Chinese folk arts » Chinese paper-cuts|
The making of paper-cuts is another popular folk art in China. A piece of paper can be turned in the hands of an artisan, with the help of a knife or a pair of scissors, into any of a wide variety of patterns - landscapes, flowers, birds, animals and human figures. These simple works of art may be displayed in wall frames or pressed under glass table-tops to grace the room with their elegant lines and pleasing images.
Paper-cuts fall into two categories:
1) The monochrome scissor-cut:
2) The patterned paper-cut:
It is difficult to tell since when the art of paper-cutting began in China. Excavations made in 1949 at the ruins of the ancient city of Gaochang in Turpan, Xinjiang, unearthed paper-cuts showing a pair of horses and a pair of monkeys. They date back 1,500 years to the period of the Northern and Southern dynasties (420-589). They are the earliest specimen of ancient paper-cuts that have been discovered.
In the old days, people of certain regions used to cut red paper and imitation fold foil into chickens, dogs, sheep, pigs, cattle and horses or pictures of "peaches of immortality" and "high-ranking person of fine horse" and decorate their offerings to the gods with these by way of praying for prosperity and happiness. Today, on festivals or festive occasions such as a wedding, paper-cuts are still made and pasted on doors, windows, walls, rice jars and stoves to brighten up the house and add to the jubilance.
There is yet another kind of paper-cuts especially made as patterns for embroidery work.
The art of paper-cutting has experienced considerable development since the founding of New China. Research societies have been set up in a number of areas and the number of lovers has been on the increase. The folk art, it seems, has a more splendid future in store.
Copyright © 2003-2006 Bravochina LLC USA. All rights reserved.