Since last post Paper Vision very popular, a lot of people asked me to talk about Chinese Paper-cut. I’m very happy that so many people interested in Chinese culture. Here it is. Hope you will like it.
Paper-cut is the best embodiment of Chinese culture, which has a long history. According to some information, its history can be back to the sixth century, or even earlier. Paper-cut is one of China’s folk culture and art treasures. A pair of scissors and sheets of paper can make magic. For example: grilles, floral paper cutting, paper-cut characters, paper-cut pictures and so on.
In the past, people often made of paper shapes in the objects and portraits, burial or burning on the funeral along with the deceased, also used as worship their ancestors and gods with offerings ornaments. Now you still can see people do that. But paper-cut is used for decoration more often, but also for use as a decoration gift, even paper-cut itself can be used as a gift to the others.
Paper-cut is not made by machines, only made by hand. There commonly have two ways to make. First way is to cut one paper then put a few (usually no more than eight) paper together and paste it. Then use the sharp scissors to cut detailed pattern processing. Second way is first folded stacks of paper, placed on the soft mixture of ash and animal fat composition, and then scored with a knife slowly. Paper-cut artist in general is holding the knife vertically.
In rural areas, the paper-cut is usually done by the woman or girls. In the past, this is a ability that every girl must have and also the standard to judge the girl if a good bride. Now the bride don’t have to know how to do paper-cut, but in marriage that day, home or car will be decorated by festive red paper-cut. Every New Year or spring festival , especially northern China, many families still keep this paper-cut customs, dress the windows of the house with different paper-cut patterns to greet the new year.