Paper-cutting is one of the most popular folk arts in China. It has a long history, unique style, and a wide range of subjects. It is closely related to people's production and life and is deeply loved by the public. With the development of science and technology, laser engraving machine has made paper cutting into a new world.
The evolution of the art of paper cutting
Chinese folk paper-cutting is an art image of traditional Chinese art, but it is not a repetitive and true reproduction of objective things in a simple sense, but a folk artist who boldly imagines the original shape of things in many ways, using artistic methods to refine, process, and then Create results. The concept of imagery modeling of Chinese folk paper-cutting is admired by modern graphic design. Modern art design combined with the application of laser engraving machine makes paper-cutting enter a new era. It is similar to Chinese traditional paper-cutting art. The conveying method also contains rich planar constituent elements. A comparative study of paper-cutting and flat composition can deepen the value of traditional art and help promote traditional art. At the same time, flat-form composition can also learn from paper-cutting art and enrich its own means of communication.
Chinese folk paper-cut shapes come out of the national tradition. Instead of simply repeating shifts and mutations, they extract elements from traditional art and re-create them with modern creative consciousness and expression skills. The new paper-cut graphics created have Brand-new visual image and effect, the laser engraving machine makes the most exquisite paper-cutting without any restrictions.
The main material for paper cutting is paper. Legend has it that after the death of Emperor Hanwu ’s pet concubine Li, the Emperor Wu missed it so much that the warlock cut out Mrs. Li's image using linen paper to enchant her. This is probably the earliest paper-cut. During the excavation of the Warring States Period in Guwei Village, Hui County, Henan, from 1950 to 1952, arc-shaped decorative objects carved with silver foil were found. In the Changsha, Hunan, yellow loquat ornaments were also unearthed from the Jin Dynasty.These ornaments hollowed out with gold and silver foil, although not paper-cut, can be said to have formed in terms of engraving technology and artistic style. The predecessor of paper-cut art. The paper cuts of animals and flowers in the tombs of the Northern and Southern Dynasties found near the flame mountain in Turpan, Xinjiang, may be the earliest paper-cuts that have been found and are well documented.There are five paper-cut paper cuts here: Tsushima horses, monkeys Group flower, honeysuckle flower, chrysanthemum flower, octagonal flower.
The early paper-cuts were about Taoist worship of gods and soul-giving sacrifices. For example, in Du Fu's poems, there was a clear record of "warm soup licking my feet, paper-cuts calling my soul". Today, the Miao people still have the practice of cutting ghost images on the bullpens or doors on the day of the festival. In the past, people often used paper to make various forms of figures and portraits, and burned with the dead or at funerals. In addition, paper-cutting is also used as a decoration for offerings to sacrifices to ancestors and gods, such as the "Guanyin clothes" cut for the ancestors in Foshan, Guangdong, and "dragon clothes" to worship the gods.
Tang Dynasty paper-cutting is in a period of great development. Tang Dynasty paper-cutting that is now hidden in the British Museum can be seen at the time of the high level of paper-cutting handmade art, complete picture composition, expressing an ideal state of heaven and earth. The Tang dynasty was popular, and its engraved woodblock patterns have paper-cutting characteristics, such as the "pair of sheep" in the Masakura courtyard in Japan. The sheep pattern is a typical art of paper-cutting manual expression. In the Tang Dynasty, there were also underprinted printing plates made by paper-cutting. People embossed thick paper into flower plates, and leaked the dye onto the cloth to form beautiful patterns.
The papermaking industry in Song Dynasty was mature and there were many types of paper, which provided the conditions for the popularization of paper cutting. The scope of application of folk paper-cutting is gradually expanding. Some use paper-cutting as a decoration, some are affixed to windows, and some are decorated with lanterns. Paper cutting is used as a ceramic pattern in the Jizhou kiln in Jiangxi Province. During the glazing process, the author affixed the paper cutting and fired it in the kiln to make the ceramic more exquisite. At this time, shadow puppets were popular and the materials used for carving shadow puppets were useful in addition to animal skins. The thick paper is carved into the figure of a shadow play. The blue printing cloth dyeing process has been very common in the Song Dynasty. The engraved pattern-making is made by engraving with oil paperboard. The pattern of the scraped printing pattern uses paper-cutting techniques. The South Song printed cloth unearthed in Shanxi Province is an example. During the Southern Song Dynasty, there have been artists with this profession. In the Southern Song Dynasty's "Ziyatang Poetry Miscellaneous Banknotes" wrote: "The old capital's title, there are people who cut all kinds of patterns, very delicate. And the original Yu Chengzhi Those who cut the characters of various books are specialized. After that, there are teenagers who can cut the words and flowers in the sleeves, which is very delicate. "
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the art of paper-cutting handicrafts reached maturity and reached its heyday. The use of folk paper-cutting handmade art is more extensive. The floral decorations on the folk lights, the patterns on the fan surface, and the embroidery patterns, etc., all use paper-cutting for decoration. What's more, Chinese folks often use paper-cutting as a decorative home decoration to beautify the home environment, such as door stacks, window flowers, cabinet flowers, hi flowers, roof flowers, etc., are all used for decorative paper-cuts.
Paper-cut art analysis
Each kind of art has its own unique artistic style, and paper-cutting is generally popular because of its easy access to materials, low cost, stand-out effect, and wide adaptability. Most of the authors are from the hands of rural women and folk artists.Because they (they) use the things they see and hear in real life as their subject matter, the observation of physical objects is based on simple feelings and intuitive impressions, so the paper-cut art is strong. The special style of simplicity, simplicity, and brilliance reflects the simplicity of the peasants. Paper-cutting can be seen in various parts of China, and even different local style schools have been formed, such as the rough and simple paper-cutting style outside the northwestern plug, and the smart and beautiful Jiangnan, which are inseparable from the local humanities, geography and folk customs. Paper-cutting not only shows the aesthetic hobby of the masses, but also contains the deep social psychology of the nation. It is also one of the most distinctive folk arts in China, and its modeling characteristics are particularly worthy of study. In composition, paper-cutting is different from other paintings. It is more difficult to express the three-dimensional space, scene and image layer by layer, and it often breaks through the relationship between the proportion of objects and perspective. It is mainly based on the connection of the image in the content.It often uses the combination method.Due to the exaggerated deformation in the shape, it can also use some rules of the beauty of the pattern form for symmetry, homogeneity, balance, combination, and continuous processing.Common There are forms of "barrier-to-barrier height" or "changing scenes with partitions". Due to the limitations of tools and materials, it is impossible to adopt a realistic approach to naturalism. It is required to pay attention to the main part of the image and boldly discard the secondary part, so that the subject can see at a glance. The shape should be prominent and decorative, avoid large black and white, and use delicate patterns to embellish the main body to form a simple and elegant sense of grace. The method of overlapping and laying out the plane not only causes a strong national flavor, but also expands the capacity of the picture and improves the expressiveness of paper cutting. Most paper-cuts do not pursue strict realism, but the performance of images in the eyes of the masses.
The color requirements of paper-cutting are complicated in simplicity, and less configuration for similar colors, similar colors, and adjacent colors. Require coordination in contrasting colors. Also pay attention to the proportion of color. For example, when one main color is used to form the main tone, the other colors can be weakened to different degrees in contrast.
Many characteristics and styles of folk paper-cutting are due to certain skills in knife-making. "Sawtooth" and "Crescent Moon" are two important paper-cutting methods. When these two knife methods are used properly, the "knife-like paper feeling" unique to the art of paper cutting can be formed. "Sawtooth" is naturally produced by the author during the production process due to the cutting movement of paper and knife. It uses the length, density, straightness, rigidity, flexibility, and sharpness of the sawtooth to combine it with the characteristics of different objects to express it. Texture, volume, structure, etc.
"Crescent Moon" is also a variety of arc-shaped decorations that naturally occur during cutting. It is mainly based on overcasting, which mainly expresses the figure's clothing pattern, or destroys a large black area. According to the characteristics of the same object, the shape can be long. Can be short, wide or narrow, can be bent or straight, can change a variety of different types.
In addition to the sawtooth and crescent moon, the paper-cutting methods of folk paper-cuts include flowers, swirls, moire, and water patterns. The theme of folk paper-cutting is very extensive, it not only reflects the things people like in real life, but also expresses their yearning for a better life. From the theme of paper-cut art, we can see the simple and innocent thoughts and feelings of working people. The scope of paper-cutting themes can roughly include the following aspects:
(1) The theme of actual life: Because the authors of paper-cutting mostly come from rural areas, most of their works are based on their own labor and life, and some directly express their poultry and livestock, such as chickens, pigs, sheep, and cattle. There are also plants that are commonly found in life, such as: plum, orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum, peony, lotus, narcissus, and various fruits and vegetables. These are all from the theme of life, making paper-cut works show a very strong atmosphere of life.
(2) Ji Qing's allegorical subject matter: A major feature of folk paper-cuts is the use of allegorical methods of sentiment. The method of phonology is to use the pictophonetic representation. Sika deer, carved a few sika flowers on the deer; engraved with lotus and carp means "more than one year in a row". Here, "lian" is used to harmonize with lotus, "yu" is used to harmonize with fish. Harmonic method is to simplify a certain image as a representative. For example: if a cloud is engraved, it means the sky, and if a snow is engraved, it means that it is snowing in winter. Symbolism is to express a concept by a certain physical image and make people associate. For example, the peach symbolizes longevity, the pomegranate symbolizes multiple children, the puppet symbolizes love, the pine tree symbolizes evergreen, the peony symbolizes richness, and the magpie Dengmei symbolizes happy events.
(3) Opera characters and legends: Folk artists also use paper cutting to express the myths and drama stories that are widely spread in the folk, expressing their love and hatred for the characters in these stories. For example, in the areas of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, folk paper-cuts are mostly based on the plots of local stories such as "Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai", "White Snake Biography", "Red Dream" and "Xi Xiang Ji". Beijing, the birthplace of Peking opera, is the most famous for the paper cut of Peking Opera, which is near Yuxian, near Beijing. In addition, such as "Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea", "Chang'e Flying to the Moon", "Tian Nu San Hua". Folklore stories such as "rats marrying girls" are even more common in paper cutting.
Some people think that the classification of paper cutting should be based on the purpose, so it can be divided into:
(1) Decorative category: Paper-cuts affixed to other objects for appreciation or to increase the beauty of other objects, such as window blinds
(2) Vulgar letters: paper-cuts used for sacrifices, blessings, fear, evil, and detoxification, such as door gods
(3) Manuscripts: paper-cuts for stencils, printing and dyeing, such as embroidery manuscripts
(4) Design category: Paper cutting that can increase the beauty of other things, or can promote other things, such as the opening film of a movie or TV. Some people also think that paper cutting should be divided into three categories:
(1) All window decorations and color drafts (flower patterns) made with monochrome paper cut are called paper cut.
(2) Any work cut and pasted with colored paper should be called cut and paste.
(3) Any work that is cut and then filled with color should be called cutting. This kind of statement is too vague and specious. Not only are many works similar to the window flower not included, but also the definition of the word cut painting is too much, and it should not be classified according to the category. Moreover, how to cut and dye the work will be classified.
It can be said that since the birth of the paper-cut art, it has been continuously developed, without interruption, from completely manual to laser engraving machine. The Chinese folk paper-cut handmade art is like a wonderful work of art, ancient and evergreen.It meets the psychological needs of the people with its unique popularity, practicality and aesthetics. In life, she is everywhere and everywhere. She silently aroused people's pursuit of life, belief in life and hope for happiness in a unique way.