Yangzhou Paper Cutting Masterpieces, China Paper Cutting Museum

The Chinese paper cut is an important part of Chinese popular culture. Paper cutting in China has three main schools, namely folk paper cutting in Shandong, folk paper cutting in Anhui and folk paper cutting of Yangzhou. Yangzhou is one of the first areas of paper cutting in China. In the Tang and Song dynasties, there was a custom of “paper and spring cutting.” Yangzhou in the Qing Dynasty, due to the development of the Jianghuai salt industry, brought prosperity to the city. Therefore, there are many popular artists living in the city of Yangzhou. It is rumored that during the years Jia and Dao, the famous artist Bao Zheng was well known for his skill. Under the cut of luggage, flowers, birds, fish and butterflies are fascinating, and they are fascinating because of the reputation of “God Scissor”.

Yangzhou Paper Cuts
Chinese paper cuts fall into two categories, more or less based on artistic styles, namely, the north and the south. Renowned Chinese scholar Guo Moruo (1892-1978 AD) composed a poem applauding the fabulous art of cutting paper, which means: “I once saw the paper cuts of northern China and was struck by its innocent and genuine beauty; Now I see paper cutouts from southern China and I am fascinated by its exquisite and elegant charm; This is an ingenious folk craftsmanship created simply by scissors; That your charm will last forever. “With its delicate, lively and elegant beauty, Yangzhou paper cuts have become the masterpieces of paper cutting art in southern China.

During the reigns of Emperor Jiaqing and Emperor Daoguang in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912 AD), a man of letters named Bao Jun, born in Yangzhou, China, created a distinctive form of art later known as ” by Bao “. Jun, “which features various themes including landscapes, figures, birds, flowers, insects, fish, etc., based on their integration of paper cutting and painting. Bao’s “paper-cut painting” techniques were unfortunately lost, since neither artists like him nor works of art similar to yours have since appeared.

Bao Jun’s “paper-cut painting”, as a distinct category that marked an important stage in the development of the paper-cutting art of Yangzhou of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912 AD), counts as the literary masterpiece. not only did they inherit the literary characters from Bao Zhuangxing’s previous paper cuttings, but they also integrated multiple forms of art, including poetry, calligraphy, painting, printing, cutting and pasting.

There are a total of 12 pieces of “paper-cut painting” on the Album of Plants and Insects in Bao Jun, now at the Zhenjiang Museum, Crabapples, Butterflies, Quiabo and Chrysanthemum Flowers, Hydrangea and Kingfisher Flowers, Swallows Returned in Spring , Hemerocallis, black butterflies, daylilies and orchids, peach flowers, swallows and willows, hydrangea flowers, bean pods. In similar styles, these pieces feature ingenious compositions, rich layers and realistic illustrations, thanks to Bao Jun’s skilled cutting and gluing skills.

Although unable to say, at first glance, whether they are paintings, calligraphy or paper cuts, as the artist had integrated paper cutting, painting, calligraphy and seals.

Onlookers would discover after careful observation that these pieces must have been made by the breeder, first by cutting out flower shapes, birds, plants, insects, characters and seals from sheets of paper, pasting them into rice paper, and finally processing and adding supplements . brushstroke similar to the traces of texture in Chinese painting.

With a solid base in the areas of painting and calligraphy as well as paper cutting skills, Bao Jun was able to combine painting and paper cutting in an innovative way, creating a series of fascinating paintings of landscapes, birds and birds. flowers, plants and insects, figures, among which those with the theme of birds and flowers, as well as plants and insects are the brightest.

“Sliced ​​paper painting” requires experienced collage and collage skills. These Bao Jun skills were so ingenious that some museum officials who did not believe the parts of the Plant and Insect Album were made of cut paper even broke the rules of the museum to play these cultural relics and were totally convinced and amazed when they saw the lightly curled corners of the paper.

With scissors as the main tool and brush as supplementation, Bao Jun has created works of art that are still fascinating a century later for viewers these days based on their unparalleled cutting abilities and ingenious brushstrokes.

His works of art, conveying both the characters and the interests of the literati, allow the spectators not only to study their ingenious artistic abilities, but also to see the artist’s inner world.

With pieces with their unique cultural connotations, Bao Jun established a direct link between objective scenarios and their artistic images, of which the latter became the bearer of their inner emotions.

In his works of art Bao Jun usually left the signature of “Bao Jun of Baisha (White Sand)” or the seal of “Baisha Ren (white sand person)”. According to the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Chinese Geographical Names, Baisha was a province known for its white sand located in the Yizheng district of Jiangsu Province, eastern China. And since the Baisha prefecture was under Yangzhou jurisdiction during the Qing Dynasty, Bao Jun was referred to as a native of Yangzhou by Chen Wenshu in his New Recordings of the Painters Circle, actually a native of Yizheng County of Yangzhou to be specific.

There are two pieces of Bao Jun works of art, now housed in the Tianjin Museum, one of which was established in 1834, the 14th year during the reign of Emperor Daoguang, while the other in 1837, the 17th year.

The Arahants of Bao Baisha, owned by the collector Guo Junquan of Xuzhou, present arahants illustrated in a real way with refined flowing lines. The scissors work on paintings, calligraphies and seals, although it may be as fine as anything, convey deep meanings.

Orioles and Desert Roses, Paper Cutouts by Zhao Hongmei
This piece illustrates an idyllic spring scene so beautiful it seems to exist only in dreams. The desert roses begin to bloom in the warm breeze of spring. The most spectacular of these flowers are the two lovely red flowers, with petals curling in the gentle wind. The seemingly insignificant green leaves are the important elements that serve as a leaf for the refined and elegant beauty of the flowers. The orioles are reluctant to leave the branch, singing beautiful songs.

Bonsai Series by Xiong Chongrong
Rhythm Harmonious, paper cut by Zhang Zhenmei
A pleasure to watch, paper cut by Li Haixia

China Paper Cutting Museum, Yangzhou, China

The China Paper Cutting Museum (Chinese: 中国 剪纸 博物馆) is located in the back garden of Wang’s Xiaoyuan, a historic district in Yangzhou. The museum exhibits a variety of paper cutting art styles from across the country, and regularly maintains the national paper cutting works “Shanhua Prize” and related cultural exchange activities. The museum has collected more than 400 pieces of masterpieces of various genres throughout the country. The original site of the Chinese Paper Cutting Museum is located in Mazhan Lane, in the city of Yangzhou, and has now been transferred to the Arts and Crafts Building.