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Chinese Paper-Cutting Art


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#1 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 01:28 AM

Ever since paper was invented by Cai Lun during Han dynasty, Chinese paper arts have been developed and existed in China for thousands of years. One of the typical paper arts is that of paper cutting-art (known as Chuanghua 窗花 or Jianzi yishu 剪纸艺术), in which paper can be cut to form different artwork display or representation.

I'm just wondering if anyone can provide more information about this chinese paper-cutting art.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 01:31 AM

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An example of chinese paper cutting art illustrating a dog.

Found some info from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia....inese_paper_art

Chinese papercutting is a unique artform and has existed for thousands of years. The common designs made include animals, flowers and figures cut, with scissors or knives. They are mainly made to decorate doors and windows, and therefore are sometimes known as 窗花 chuāng huā (window flowers) or 剪纸 jiǎn zhǐ (paper cutting). Papercutting has long history featuring both national and regional themes. It was most popular throughout the Qing Dynasty during which many skills developed, including drafting and the use of smoked paper.

Cuttings can be made with single or multicolored papers, both of which present pictures both vivid and natural. Various papers can be applied for papercutting. Skilled crafters can even cut out different drawings freely by a pair of scissors without stop.

Though the end product is usually small in size, it can reflect many aspects of life such as prosperity., health, or the harvest. Some cuttings represent stories about the happiness gained from the accomplishment of common goals.

Archeological finds trace the tradition back to the 6th century, although the tradition probably began a few centuries earlier. Paper cuttings were chiefly used for religious purposes or decoration.

Today, papercuttings are chiefly decorative. They ornament walls, windows, doors, columns, mirrors, lamps and lanterns in homes and are also used on presents or are given as gifts themselves.

Papercuttings have special significance at festivals and on holidays. At the New Year's Festival for example, entrances are decorated with papercuttings which are supposed to bring good luck. Papercuttings used to be used as patterns, especially for embroidery and lacquer work.

There are two methods of manufacture: one which uses scissors, and another which uses knives. In the scissors method, several pieces of paper - up to eight - are fastened together. The motif is then cut with sharp, pointed scissors.

Knife cuttings are fashioned by putting several layers of paper on a relatively soft foundation consisting of a mixture of tallow and ashes. Following a pattern, the artist cuts the motif into the paper with a sharp knife which is usually held vertically. The advantage of knife cuttings is that considerably more cuttings can be made in one operation than with scissors.

In the countryside, papercutting is a traditionally female activity. In the past, every girl was expected to master it and brides were often judged by their skill. Professional papercutting artists are, on the other hand, usually male and have guaranteed incomes and work together in workshops.

If you found any chinese paper cutting art, please also post the picture here.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#3 Li Wei Feng

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 12:36 PM

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Tried to learn it before when I was young because I was intrigued and challenged by the art. But o well, no patience to do it at all. Very interesting though.

#4 kaiselin

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 05:22 PM

GZ,
Thank you for starting this thread, I have been quite intrigued by the paper cutting that I have seen in books, but I had not been able to find the Chinese name for the art.
Chuang Hua, how appropriate.

When I was little my mother and I would make paper cut snowflakes to decorate the windows at Christmas. I guess the basic idea is the same sort of art. Her snowflakes were really something to see. A few years ago Mom sent me a bunch for my Christmas presant. They meant more to me then any gift she could have bought for me. I have them saved in plastic sleeves to protect them. And look at them each Christmas to remind me of her.

I have seen a paper cut that represented the wedding. The bride and groom were depicted being carried in a covered litter. They were depicted as their respective Chinese Zodiac signs. I think that the bride was a rat, and so were all the litter carriers were all rats too. The book said that to depict the bride and groom like that is common practice.

I have not yet tried my hand at the Chinese style paper cutting yet, but recently found a very nice little xacto knife that has a tiny swivel blade for making small curved cuts easy.
I am looking forward to doing some snowflakes and some Chuang Hua.

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#5 kaiselin

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 07:43 AM

"Chinese Folk Designs , Paper cut designs for Embroidery", by W.M. Hawley published by Dover has some very nice simple designs

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#6 xat

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 09:23 AM

China's Folk Art - Paper-cut. :clapping: :cheers:
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http://world-culture...g/c.asp?d=11868
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http://world-culture...g/c.asp?d=11854

#7 hljhljhlj

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 09:39 AM

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#8 carolgreen616

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:15 PM

Chinese is so talent ,that i really admire them




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