Paper cutting is the art of cutting paper designs. The art has evolved uniquely all over the world to adapt to different cultural styles.
The oldest surviving paper cut out is a symmetrical circle from the 6th century Six Dynasties period found in Xinjiang China. Paper cutting continued to be practiced during the Song and Tang Dynasties as a popular form of decorative art.
The city of Yangzhou in ancient China features excellent tradition of the old art form and is still renowned for it even in nowadays.
To better preserve the art of paper cutting, the city's arts and crafts museum opened a new gallery dedicated to paper-cutting on Oct 19, displaying some of the finest examples of this traditional Chinese art form.
The gallery covers an area of 1,000 square meters and is divided into three parts: a domestic pavilion, local pavilion and temporary pavilion. As part of the crafts museum, entry to the paper-cutting gallery is free for all visitors.
One of the works on display at the new paper-cutting gallery in Yangzhou [Photo/yznews.com.cn]
After renovation, the city's craft gallery has newly added more than 100 paper-cutting works, said Su Huaping, the manager of the museum.
The museum's collection now contains works from 26 different art forms, including lacquerware, jadeware, embroidery, paper-cutting and miniature engraving, and is one of the largest collections of its kind in China.
The new paper-cutting gallery is currently displaying some delicate works created by an up-and-coming generation of young artists.
"These pieces represent the power of young people to reinvigorate an art form," said Wang Jing, the museum's curator. "They demonstrate all the skills of traditional paper-cutting, while at the same time innovating in terms of the way they illustrate emotion and present their themes."
The pieces on display depict flowers, characters and many other subjects, showing both the inheritance and development of traditional arts in modern times.
A work of paper-cutting created by an artist from Yangzhou [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Paper-cutting has been practiced in China for more than 1,500 years. It has traditionally had a number of distinct uses in Chinese culture, including the promotion of health and prosperity, as well as for decorative purposes. Red is the most commonly used color. UNESCO added Chinese paper-cutting to its Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009.