Shandong Culture

China's window paper-cutting art debuts in UK

( Updated: 2017-08-28

China's window paper-cutting art debuts in UK

Exhibition poster. [Photo/]

Britons curious about traditional Chinese folk culture have been offered with an opportunity to get a glimpse of its essence, as an exhibition featuring Jiaodong window paper-cutting art was staged on Aug 19 at Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend, United Kingdom.

This marks the debut of Jiaodong window paper-cutting art in a European museum.

The "Brilliant Folk Art, Jiaodong Folk Window Paper Cutting Art Exhibition", which lasts through to Sept 1, is organized by Yantai Art Museum in East China's Shandong province.

It features more than 40 of the most representative works from different times and areas including "Butterflies", "Tigers", "Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix" and "Goldfish in a Big Ceramic Bowl".

China's window paper-cutting art debuts in UK

A paper-cutting work of "Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix". [Photo/]

Jiaodong window papercutting is a unique feature of artistic storytelling. Its theme ranges from objects, to historical stories, myths and legends. Jiaodong window paper-cutting is also unique due to its distinct regional features. Ocean culture is widely depicted in paper-cutting, followed by farming culture.

Unlike the commonly seen red-color paper-cutting works, most of the exhibits are colorful, which come as a visual shock to the visitors, according to Zhang Shuo, curator of the museum.

The exhibition is an important cultural exchange project between Yantai Art Museum and Beecroft Art Gallery. It was included in the "2016 Outstanding Young Curator Support Programs of the Art Gallery throughout China".

Despite the cultural differences between China and the UK, Britons have always been interested in traditional Chinese culture and arts, according to Fay Evans, mayor of Southend.

Paper-cutting art is one of the most representative forms of folk art as it was included on the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2009, Evans said, adding that the exhibition provides an opportunity to boost the profile of traditional Chinese arts in the UK.

Zhang Shuo said the exhibition is aimed at presenting the essence of traditional Chinese folk culture to British people while strengthening the museum's exchange and cooperation with Beecroft Art Gallery.

The exhibition has attracted many Chinese culture lovers in the UK, and Andrew Gern is one of them. Andrew spoke highly of the folk culture that is closely related to daily lives, saying it provides an easy way for the public to learn about traditional Chinese culture.

China's window paper-cutting art debuts in UK

Two visitors stop at colorful paper-cutting works at Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend, the UK. [Photo/ WeChant account of Yantai Art Museum]