Young artist inherits paper-cutting legacy

2021-02-04 12:04:30

Chinese paper cutting, or jianzhi, is a folk art which uses scissors or knives to cut paper for festive decoration or other folk activities. Traditionally, most paper-cutting was conducted by women. But one young man has inherited this skill, and harbors a remarkable dedication to his craft. Chang Yangyang, a man from the post-90s generation, is an heir to the provincial-level intangible cultural heritage at Mengjin Paper Cutting in Central China’s Henan province. Born in a paper-cutting family, he learned the skill from his grandmother since childhood and has a strong interest in it. Even when he started to work, he never stopped practicing. By chance, he took part in the national paper-cutting competition, and won third place. After his strong showing, he realized this could be a career. So he quit his job and went back to his hometown. He visited many predecessors of paper-cutting, learned skills and opened a studio. Referring to his studio, Chang said: "It was very difficult at first, because young people like fashionable things and paper-cutting is usually related to the countryside and traditional folk customs." But he was not discouraged. He often puts a table and a chair in front of the studio and sits there to do paper-cutting, and tells people the meaning of the art form. His exquisite skills surprise audiences, but also leave a deep impression on people. As the Spring Festival is approaching, Chang shot a video to show the audiences how to make a paper-cut work with the theme of the year of ox and to wish you a happy new year.