Chinese Paper Cutting

Paper cutting is a traditional art in China and has been for thousands of years. The paper cutting is for celebrations, festivals and home decoration, often with red color, which is the lucky color in China.

Paper cutting became one of art forms since the invention of paper in Han Dynasty. It was popular in the royal palaces and houses of nobility as a favorite pastime among court ladies. Later, during 7th and13th centuries, paper cutting was immensely spread in folk festivals and celebrations. The themes of their works usually include everything in their daily life.

The main tools for paper cutting are scissors and engraving knives. They depend on different methods to cut paper but both can make nice paper cutting. For the scissor, several pieces of paper - up to eight - are fastened together. The motif is then cut. For the knife, several layers of paper are put on a soft foundation consisting of a mixture of tallow and ashes. Following a pattern, the motif into the paper will be cut out. Skilled crafters can even cut out different drawings freely without stopping.

Arts come from life and serve life, so with the Paper cutting. The bright red, green or light blue paper cuttings are often used to add merry atmosphere to the festivals or celebrations. Hence they are often found in wedding ceremonies or festivals in China. Today, paper cuttings are chiefly decorative. People often like to decorate their windows, walls, mirrors, lanterns and doors with colorful paper cutting. In Chinese culture, it can reflect many aspects of life, such as, prosperity, health, or harvest.

Chinese paper cutting culture

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