China's window paper-cutting art debuts in UK
Updated : 2017-08-28
A poster gives details of the exhibition at Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend, UK. [Photo/southendmuseums.co.uk]
This is the first time an exhibition about the traditional Chinese folk art has been held in a European museum.
The "Brilliant Folk Art, Jiaodong Folk Window Paper-cutting Art Exhibition", which lasts through Sept 1, was organized by Yantai Art Museum in East China's Shandong province.
It features more than 40 carvings from different periods and regions, to give a sense of the diversity of the art form. This also included famous works such as "Butterflies", "Tigers", "Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix" and "Goldfish in a Big Ceramic Bowl".
A paper-cutting work titled "Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix". [Photo/jiaodong.net]
The folk art is also unique for its distinct regional features. As the art form originated in coastal Shandong province, works often depict maritime or farming scenes.
Unlike the commonly seen red-colored paper-cutting works, most of the exhibits on show in Southend are colorful, which often surprises 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 in 2017. It was included in the "2016 Outstanding Young Curator Support Programs of Art Galleries throughout China".
Despite the cultural differences between China and the UK, Britons have always been interested in traditional Chinese culture and art, according to Fay Evans, mayor of Southend.
Paper-cutting 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 the traditional Chinese art 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, such as local resident Andrew Gern. Andrew spoke highly of the folk culture that is closely related to daily life, saying it provides an easy way for the public to learn about traditional Chinese culture.
Two visitors admire a colorful paper-cutting work at Beecroft Art Gallery in Southend, UK. [Photo/ WeChant account of Yantai Art Museum]