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A lifetime of devotion to the art of paper cutting



Song, 62, is a craftsman in north China's Hebei Province specializing in the Chinese folk art of paper cutting, or "jianzhi." Boasting a history of over 1,000 years, paper cutting was traditionally a craft mastered by women and used in ritual and home decoration. The art form has gained attention in past decades and was included on the UNESCO world intangible cultural heritage list.

Song was born in a small village and his relationship with paper cutting began more than five decades ago, when he learned the craft from his grandmother. His grandmother would make paper cuttings featuring traditional auspicious motifs and patterns as well as Chinese characters symbolizing the zodiac animals. Villagers would stick them on their windows or walls to invite happiness and fortune.

"Actually, learning paper cutting can help make kids more patient, and help train their hands-on skills, sharpen their memory and fire their imagination," Song said, adding he won't give up his efforts to introduce the art to the young.


Source: Shanghai Daily
Published: 3 November 2016

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