A Yangzhou paper cutting artist creates a series of dog-themed works. [Photo/VCG]
Yangzhou in Jiangsu province has a long history in Chinese paper cutting. Early in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), there was the custom of "paper-cutting heralding the spring". On Lichun, marking the beginning of spring, the first of the 24 solar terms of the Chinese lunar calendar, people in Yangzhou made paper-cutting into flowers or butterflies to welcome spring.
Yangzhou paper cutting has elegant and smooth lines and exquisite composition, and is one of the representatives of folk paper cutting art in southern China.
The main inheritors of modern Yangzhou paper cutting are father and son Zhang Jinsheng and Zhang Yongshou. In the 70-year paper-cutting career, Zhang Yongshou changed his paper-cutting from practical patterns to decorative creations, and his works show realistic, changing, general and exaggerated style, leaving valuable experience for generations of paper cutting artists.
Yangzhou paper cutting was included on the national intangible cultural heritage list in 2006.