Paper-cut is a picture cut out on a paper with scissors. The picture patterns are often pasted on the lintels, windows, or lanterns to express the feelings of joy and the perceptions in life. Hence the paper-cut is also known as “scissors-picture” or “paper-cut for window decoration”. The patterns are often designed from events in the jubilant festivals, bumper harvest of the cereals, stories of the folk opera, children or animals, and others. They are very beautiful and interesting, and are widely popular among Chinese people. The art of paper-cut may be traced back to a period as early as the ancient South and North Dynasties. It appeared at the same time of discovery of Chinese papermaking and is still prosperous across China.
In terms of techniques, paper-cut is mainly divided into masculine carving, lithography and masculine-masculine mixed carving: masculine carving is the development of Chinese line-drawing modelling, and some masculine paper-cut works are as fine as hairs, exquisite and extraordinary; masculine carving is the use of silhouette effect, the use of bright spots or white lines on black or dark images to enrich the expressive force, the image is more simple and dignified than masculine carving; the alternating combination of masculine carving and masculine carving It further enriches the paper-cut language.
In the application of color technology, it can be divided into set color cutting, dyeing cutting and gold color paper cutting, etc. The set color cutting is to cut with more than two kinds of polychromatic paper in the same picture; the dyeing cutting is to make use of the water permeability of paper, drop dyeing liquid on the carved works, so that the various colors permeate each other without disorder, and the visual sense is rich and bright; the gold color paper cutting is to cut patterns with gold paper first. Then shirt color paper, such as red flowers, green leaves, give people a sense of brilliance, mostly used in the niche of wealth and festival decoration.
The paper-cut of the south is delicate and beautiful, and those of the north are robust and energetic. The paper-cut has become one of the magnificent and beautiful flowers in the Chinese national artistic treasures.