Author(s): Zhao Ziping
Paper cutting is a popular handicraft in today's multicultural world, embracing a great variety of themes, designs and images. In China, its birthplace, it is regarded as an elegant traditional folk art. Chinese paper cuts reflect many aspects of life, including prosperity, health and the harvest. Paper cuts are typically used to decorate walls, windows and doors, or as patterns for embroidery and lacquer work. Rich in cultural tradition, with a long history of over 1,500 years, Chinese paper cutting was listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009.
Easy to learn, paper cutting only requires paper and scissors which can be used to create a wide range of interesting paper cut outs. Instruction and inspiration can be found in "The Beginner's Guide to Chinese Paper Cutting." This book introduces all the basic elements of Chinese paper cutting, including the necessary preparation, basic techniques, simple practices and appreciation. The book's clear directions and illustrations will allow anyone to explore the art of paper cutting and start making their own works of art.
Zhao Ziping works as a professional paper cutting artist at the Shanghai Arts & Crafts Research Institute, where he began his study of the art form in 1962. As a student of Wang Zigan, a distinguished artist who was known for his wonderful craftsmanship in Shanghai-style paper cutting, Mr. Zhao has developed a simple, fluid and imaginative style with his distinctive touch. In 1984, he had a successful solo exhibition at UN Headquarters in New York and in 2005, he was honored as a "Master of Arts & Crafts" by the Shanghai Municipal Government.