Chinese paper cutting is a popular form of folk art involving cutting paper with sharp scissors. Legend goes that Chinese paper cutting was first created by a poor scholar’s wife to earn a living in the Han Dynasty around 2000 years ago. It became a popular art form during the Ming Dynasty about 1500 years later.
Paper cuttings are mostly created by women in rural areas. They cover a wide range of themes, the most popular of which are flowers, birds, fish, domestic animals, legendary figures, and facial make–up and scenes from Peking operas. Chinese people mostly use paper–cuts as decoration for gates and doors, walls and ceilings, mirrors and windows, furniture and paper lanterns on the Chinese New Year or other festivals. Paper–cuts add delight and festivity to the life of everyone who sees them.
During hundreds of years of tradition, Chinese paper cutting has split into two different styles: a southern style, represented by works from Yangzhou and Leqing, and a northern style, represented by works from Hebei and Shanxi. Southern paper cuts are delicate and fine; while paper cuts from the north are simple and bold.
Paper cutting is popular all around the world. Many other countries and cultures use this craft in a variety of different techniques and as part of celebrations: Papel picado in Mexico, Kirigami in Japan, and Parol in the Philippines. Silhouettes became popular in England during the mid–18th century.
除了中国, 世界上很多国家都有剪纸, 比如墨西哥Papel picado ,日本有Kirigami, 菲律宾有Parol,以及英国的Silhouettes.
Things to do
Check out this video to learn to make a paper cut swan for yourself or for someone else.
其它相关资源 More paper cutting and arts resources
油管网上的中国剪纸视频Chinese paper cutting videos on YouTube
There are plenty of video clips on Chinese paper cutting that are easy to follow.
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