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Paper-cut

paper-cutOne of China's most popular folk-arts is paper-cut (paper-cutting,papercut). Its origin should be closely connected with the invention of paper during the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-221 A.D.). Paper-cut are used for religious purposes, for decoration and as patterns. As paper was highly precious in the early days, the art of paper cutting first became popular in the royal palaces and houses of nobility as a favorite pastime among court ladies. Later, during the 7th through 13th centuries, paper cutting was immensely popular during folk festivals and celebrations. By the 14th century, the art had spread to the Middle East and Europe; and by the 15th century onward, paper cut art works had become and integral part of the everyday life of the people. However, the art of paper cutting was on the verge of dying out during the past century as old China experienced successive years of the disaster of war brought on by domestic turmoil and foreign invasion. Amidst a myriad of changes in their lives, most people had no leisure time to engage in the study of the art of paper cutting.
Now paper-cut are chiefly used as decoration. They ornament walls, windows, doors, columns, mirrors, lamps and lanterns in homes and are also used for decoration on presents or are given as presents of themselves.




Chinese Paper-cut Gallery 1






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