Since the invention of paper by Chinese in 105 AD, paper has been put to good use by mankind in so many ways. Perhaps, you will find it quite amazing to know that one of the first ways the Chinese used paper was to cut out shapes and forms. Now, the traditional craft of paper cutting has been given a modern boost. On Thursday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, six overseas students were officially received as apprentices for the craft.
The apprentices showed off their works of art at the ceremony. They were coached by their respective teachers who are all recognized folk craft masters for the nation.
A Canadian girl is a quick learner and was already very good at drawing before picking up the craft. She said she was fascinated by the legends and stories behind each piece.
The display especially highlights one branch of Chinese papercutting -- the Yuxian School.
Situated in northwest Hebei Province of North China, Yuxian county is reputed for its folk paper-cutting art. The technique has a distinguished artistic style of full composition, vivid shapes, flamboyant colors and unique technology.
One of the participating artists Wang Yanping has been learning the art since early childhood. She is now recognized by the state as the heir of Yuxian paper cutting. She said that once you decided to take up this craft, it means a lifelong commitment to stay with scissors and paper.
The event is part of the ongoing China International Paper Cutting Art Festival. Converging 41 different styles of paper cutting across the nation, the festival will run until August.
(CNTV May 28, 2011)