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Reviving Tradition: Zhangpu paper-cutting master thrills children with modern twists

gofujian.com.cn | Updated: 2023-05-31

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Huang Xiaomin teaches children to make paper-cutting works. [Photo/WeChat ID: zzjtgb]

Zhangpu paper-cutting, a cherished Chinese folk art with a history dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), has found new life in the hands of master artist Huang Xiaomin. By ingeniously combining this century-old craft with modern cartoon characters, Huang has captured the hearts of children and breathed fresh vitality into the traditional art form.

Huang firmly believes that the development of arts and crafts, including paper-cutting, must evolve alongside the changing times. "If we cling blindly to the past, it becomes difficult to attract the younger generation. And if the younger generation does not appreciate it, they will not pass it on," Huang emphasized.

As an inheritor of Zhangpu paper-cutting, Huang opened a dedicated paper-cutting shop in the ancient city of Zhangzhou in Fujian province. Over the past few years, Huang has welcomed a multitude of visitors from home and abroad, showcasing the captivating allure of Zhangpu paper-cutting art at the shop.

Zhangpu paper-cutting was recognized as one of the first batches of national intangible cultural heritage (ICH) items in 2008. Additionally, in 2009, it was proudly included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as an integral part of the Chinese paper-cutting tradition.

The distinct Zhangpu style is characterized by its monochromatic designs, emphasizing proportional composition, graceful lines, and a refined aesthetic. The stark contrast achieved through the craft's decoration techniques adds a powerful visual impact to Zhangzhou's paper-cutting artworks.


A paper-cutting work by Huang Xiaomin. [Photo/WeChat ID: zzjtgb]

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