WELCOME TO CHINESE CULTURE
One of the world's oldest cultures, tracing back to thousands of years ago
Paper-Cuttings is diversified patterns cut into red paper with scissors. Different patterns such as monkey, flowers and figures can be cut vividly and perfectly by some female artisans in rural areas. People paste paper-cuttings onto their windows and other places to express their hopes and wishes.
It is a very distinctive visual art of Chinese handicrafts. It originated from the 6th century when women used to paste golden and silver foil cuttings onto their hair at the temples, and men used them in sacred rituals. Later, they were used during festivals to decorate gates and windows. After hundreds of years' development, now they have become a very popular means of decoration among country folk, especially women.
Chinese Shadow Puppetry
Shadow puppetry, or Shadow Play, was very popular in many parts of China. Shadow puppets were first made of paper sculpture, later from the leather of donkeys or oxen. That's why their Chinese name is pi ying, which means shadows of leather.
Shadow puppetry wins the heart of an audience by its lingering music, exquisite sculpture, brisk color and lively performance. One mouth tells stories of thousands of years; a pair of hands operates millions of soldiers. This is how the shadow puppeteer works.
The stage for the play is a white cloth screen on which the shadows of flat puppets are projected.Chinese Shadow Puppetry Shadow puppet looks similar to paper-cut except that their joints are connected by thread so that they can be operated freely.
In ancient China the kite was known as “Zhiyuan” (paper glede). Originally regarded as a technology, it also featured prominently in many art collections, and was considered to have unique artistic value.
Swallow-shaped kites are quite popular in Beijing. Craftsmen fashion them in many different ways. Some are strewed with peonies, bats and other auspicious patterns to bring the owner good fortune. These made in Nantong are usually flown with whistles and rings. When they are flying in the sky, they vividly resemble a bevy of birds.
Paper lanterns mainly were used as lamps in ancient China. A variety of crafts were used in their making such as Chinese paintings, paper-cutting, and pricking and seaming and many kinds of materials such as bamboo, wood, wheat-straw and metal were used in their manufacture. Paper and silk were the major materials. People made lanterns to celebrate their peaceful life while the splendid illuminations symbolized and celebrated the prosperous, strong and powerful country.
Now more types of lanterns appear in festivals apart from the traditional ones. More modern technology is used on making lanterns, so people can see lanterns with music, with colorful bulbs inside and so on. The shapes of the modern lanterns have changed a lot too. These shapes can be cartoon characters and Chinese zodiac animals.