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Guangdong Paper Cutting

(chinadaily.com.cn) Update:2020-09-01

Guangdong Paper Cutting is mainly composed of three parts, namely Foshan Paper Cutting, Chaoyang Paper Cutting, and Chaozhou Paper Cutting.

Foshan Paper Cutting, popular in the Foshan area, is considered to originate from the Central Plains, and developed by combining with local folk customs and the handicraft industry. It had formed an industry in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), with relevant guilds or organizations established.

Depending on the materials applied, Foshan Paper Cutting can be divided into nine categories, including paper, copper lining, wood engraving, and copper chisel. There are mainly two kinds of paper-cutting techniques: cutting and engraving. Cutting allows two or three paper-cuts at a time, while engraving can make 20 to 30 paper-cuts at a time.

Chaoyang Paper Cutting refers to paper-cuts in the Chaoshan area of Guangdong province, covering the four cities of Shantou, Chaozhou, Jieyang, and Shanwei. The rise of Chaoyang Paper Cutting is related to people from the Central Plains who moved to this area.

The main themes of Chaoyang Paper Cutting are auspiciousness, festival celebration, and people's daily lives. Its composition is always symmetrical with strict structures.

Since the 1980s, great efforts have been made to protect and study Chaoyang Paper Cutting. The book Chaoyang Folk Paper-cuts, which collects 181 sets of paper-cuts with about 500 patterns, was published in 1989.

Chaozhou Paper Cutting is mainly distributed in the eastern region of Guangdong. It became popular during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and grew to prosperity during the Qing Dynasty.

The themes of Chaozhou Paper Cutting primarily involve flowers, animals, figures, and landscape, with strong local cultural characteristics.

Guangdong Paper Cutting was listed among the first batch of national intangible cultural heritages under the approval of the State Council in June 2006.

The Foshan Paper Cutting work, Fo Shan Feng Qing (Life and Customs of Foshan). [Photo/WeChat account: shijuefoshan]

The copper chisel paper-cut Rui Qi Cheng Xiang (Peace and Prosperity) is created to welcome the coming of the Year of the Goat. [Photo/WeChat account: shijuefoshan]

The representative inheritor of Guangdong Paper Cutting Cheng Yongcai (left) teaches his disciple Deng Chunhong. [Photo/WeChat account: shijuefoshan]